Time Lapse by worriedaboutsatan

Release date: May 8, 2020
Label: n5MD

worriedaboutsatan was a two piece up until last year when Thomas Ragsdale left and it became the solo project of founder member Gavin Miller. They’ve always been prolific, but Gavin has released three full-length albums in less than a year, which is an impressive rate of work and very heartening for fans of their brand of intelligent, mind-expanding techno.

Time Lapse eases us in gently with the chilled post-rock of ‘Dawn’, the music opening up around the listener in a welcoming way. Next track ‘Point of Departure’ has a skilfully applied hazy ambience, and an echoing reverb to its sound. The central motif is a simple, repeated guitar chord, half picked, half strummed, surrounded by swirling ambience. It reminded me of Bardspec’s self-titled album from 2017, which used a similar technique to draw the listener in. There’s a minimal beat underpinning the whole thing, with slowly rising understated bass notes adding gravity to the track. Part way through, a trancey melody sets up, which continues to build in the space created by the ambient textures. This momentarily reminds me strongly of early Astralasia, before it gives way to something more sombre.

My favourite, ‘A Lost History’, took me back to earlier worriedaboutsatan, particularly the EP Shift, with a pulse that builds out of nothingness, followed by a glitchy beat and a deep, hazy synth melody that becomes hypnotic. It’s fabulous and mesmeric, and I love the heights (or perhaps lengths, or even depths) that music like this can take me to. ‘Twin’ takes your mind on a journey, perhaps through the dense forest on the cover of the LP, and back down to earth with the quiet outro ‘Mingels’.

The overriding theme and pattern with all the tracks on Time Lapse is an ebb and flow, inducing a sense of wooziness like all good trance should. Nothing stays the same for long, with melodies building, mutating and fading into the darkness. It’s carefully crafted and very unassuming at first, but reveals itself to be amazingly deep after a few listens. An album of bangers it ain’t. By comparison, previous worriedaboutsatan outings such as Revenant and Blank Tape have grabbed the listener by the lapels with their occasionally bombastic IDM. But the direction that Gavin has taken worriedaboutsatan is far more thoughtful, emotional and cerebral. Rather than providing big beats Time Lapse is highly textured, captivating, massively melodic and quietly trancey in its vibe. It’s safe to say that worriedaboutsatan is on great form, and as forward-looking as ever.

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