By: Inna Nemchenko

Be My Friend in Exile |  facebook |  bandcamp | 

Released on November 13, 2015 via Bandcamp

Elvis used to sing “a little less conversation, a little more action”. I just mean big words often mask little things and that is just so in this case. My interest for the release came just from this fact, that I primary and mistakenly treated it as some graphomania. I listen to loads of instrumental music and the bands keep making names and titles more and more mystical (actually, very weird is better word), but the title Bound by an Endless Desire to Wander Down Avenues of Apathy is peculiar even for the experts.

But the fact is, this is a new album by Be My Friend in Exile, a one-man band based in London. Under the moniker sounding like an appeal for help  the artist composes escapist and reflexive musical soundscapes. The release is described as a form of therapy and it sounds very personal and somehow intimate. Someone called it “warm drone” and I think this is a very good description. This release will not put you in catatonia, but it will definitely make you decelerate and just think over.

The album starts with atmospheric ‘Darkness Leaves A Trail Back To My Bed’, a musical story of one lost in time and space. Cosmic sounds, guitar scraps and white noises seem to describe the complete introspection which is suddenly interrupted by distant TV-broadcasting like voice. Pretty sure you remember that dumb feeling when the world intrudes roughly in to your dreams. It leaves you in complete misunderstanding. And the melody leaves you some 10 seconds of absolute silence.

‘Subtle Indoctrination Of A Society Lusting After Happiness In Any Shape And Form’ is the kind of musical act of a person hostile to the outside world. It sounds strenuous and ready to burst out every second. But it doesn’t. It only grinds its teeth but declines any emotion. That guitar melancholy comes up in next theme ‘I Can’t Sleep Knowing You’re Thinking Of Sad Things’. Apparently this piece is devoted to the ghosts of the past, the relationship one cannot throw away from one’s mental stream. It just interferes with weird electronic on guitar motives.

‘Always A Wonder You Lull With Goodbyes’ sounds like some guitar sketch made out spontaneously at the moment of flash. It has some reveal and that warmth within. Acoustic sound becomes more vivid and does not argue with ambient canvas. This is a point where the mood of album becomes less intense. My favourite track on the album is probably the next one, ‘What Happens When The One Who Dreamt Us Wakes Up And Feels Ashamed?’. Drone gives way to thoughtful and firmly sounding guitar melody. This is one with swinging mood and uncertainty. It feels even somehow progish, Gilmore-styled.

‘Descend To Sing A Dead Note’ is gothy obscure and bitter-tasting track. Some life and presence are missing in it masked by repetitive musical quadrats. The final theme ‘The Cruel Paradox By Which We Always Deceive Ourselves Twice About The People We Love’ is 16 minutes-long mind annihilation. Vague and foggy, it is would be a good soundscape to Tarkovsky’s Solaris or something related.

Listening to it in a stable, relaxed mood you will find yourself absolutely confused as the album seems colourless. It won’t give you any emotion besides the ones youalready  have in the own head. But that’s maybe what we need drone music for – to start imagining without a reason. For this sort of escapism that would be a good soundtrack.

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