Shift by WorriedaboutsatanRelease date: February 16, 2018
Label: Wolves and Vibrancy Records
Wolves and Vibrancy Records, who recently released Hundred Year Old Man’s latest EP, contacted Worriedaboutsatan about putting out some new music but, alas, the pair had already locked in the release of a new album (due later this year). Seeing as they had spent the past year holed up in a studio writing and recording this, rather than take a break, they opted to put something together for the German label and promptly did so in one short six hour session. The resulting sonic slice is Shift.
Part 1 is like a drone sliding across a scarred landscape. Is it seeking? Searching? Hunting? It feels bigger than that. Tiny snippets, snapshots, of distant resonance creeps in. Like the trespassing of sound caught upon the wind. Glancing shimmers of an erstwhile hubbub. The menace of the imposing drone wall is upset by encroaching synth glints that ease across this audial lake like a glissading swimmer. A casual push off causing ripples that touch a distant side yet remains unaware of its origin. Hi-hats and sardonic kicks create propulsion which moves this from lofty drones into limpid atmospherics. A snare, with the reach of a gunshot, causes cross street windows to open. And this all echoes out with glassy keys. A journey from darkness through deserts to snow.
The second half is more immediate. Starting with robotic bubbling and an insistent “hmm” that could either be a dismissal or something more absent minded. Bass sweeps in and the bubbles become insistent bleeps scooting up and down, twirling with an 80s pulse. It evokes military choppers scouting through smoking wreckage. There are cinematic swipes that lend this a Stranger Things for adults vibe. It all transposes from darkness to light and becomes a soundtrack to disappear within. Not unsurprising when considering their recent work with Adam Curtis. The pulse loops, rises, soars. It gets louder and demands your attention. A quiver of a muted cymbal keeps pace. Each time the pulse returns it is even more insistent. Constantly under attack as if by ‘copters circling and completing gun runs. This is a dystopian wreckage in which people lay low as menace passes overhead. If part 1 journeys through sand and tundra then part 2 is of figures darting through shadows in the rubble of a decimated landscape.
Overall this harks back to the more stripped down and spatial sounds of Arrivals. Shift is less of a dramatic transformation than it is a patient moment to collect thoughts. That is unless your only previous interaction with Worriedaboutsatan was their remix of Health’s ‘Courtship II’. In which case you might be a little disappointed to find them in a more introspective space with a little less euphoria and absolutely no amen breaks.