Life should be soundtracked, a perfectly timed note for every event would improve things immeasurably. If that were the case, The Resonance Association’s fourth album, ‘Heliopause’, would only accompany the darkest and strangest of tales, probably set in an industrial warehouse.

Daniel Vincent and Dominic Hemy have produced a soundtrack to a film that does not exist. This is not a derisory comment, the film should exist and if it matched the music on offer over the albums 74 minutes, it would be intense, eventful and at times mesmerising.

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have paved the way for mass consumption of industrial ambience with their soundtrack for ‘The Social Network’ but also Clint Mansell’s film work can also be heard in the band’s sound and Elliot Goldenthal’s brilliant score for Michael Mann’s 1995 film ‘Heat’, is a appears to be a direct influence. A few tracks are a bit overworked and tedious, but others that demand attention soon follow.

Most notable of these is ‘Midnight Square’, an eerie guitar loop that is matched with a simple and very effective synth hook. It is really quite beautiful and one listen is not enough, it’s addictive.

The title track is a three parter constructed in a similar way to ‘Atom Heart Mother’ by Pink Floyd. A central melody is explored through peaks and troughs; it is always interesting if a little patchy. The guitar playing is not too dissimilar to David Gilmour either, taking both the good and bad elements of his playing; at times epic and at others a bit cheesy. The simpler more ambient aspects of the album always shine through as the brightest; very rarely do the traditional guitar solos enhance the tracks.

Some of Tinderstick’s more experimental material, such as ‘Running Wild’, could be a sign post for The Resonance Association. They add the hushed and husky tones of Stuart A.Staples to their ambient mixes, taking their music to another dimension in the process.

‘Heliopause’ does on some of the weaker tracks, such as ‘Momentum’, lose focus and feel a bit dated, but the next gem is always just around the corner. Such as ‘Face The Eschaton’, a shimmering beat driven track that evolves as it floats along. The addition of some minimal vocals to their sound could be very exciting and help maintain consistency and interest.

Listening to ‘Heliopause’ through computer speakers will never really do it justice. Finding the best sound system available or experiencing the album through headphones will without doubt multiply the enjoyment to be had. If you are of a want to go for long walks on dark winter nights it will certainly be a great companion. It is an exhaustive listen but well worth the effort.

Released October 17 2011 on Mrs Vee Recordings

Echo Rating (((???•)))

Posted by Charles Bertie

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