Is All by Veins Full of Static

Release date: June 15, 2018
Label: Disintegration State

Veins Full of Static’s debut EP Is All is the none-more-ambient output of one of Disintegration State’s stable, a haze of ethereal sounds that drift and swirl around the listener over an all-too-short 30 minutes or so. Compared to a lot of the label’s recent output, as shown by recent sampler Disintegrated Journeys // Disintegrated Destinations, Is All has an almost melancholic vibe, compared to the harsher techno-leaning artists or lighter, more poppy piano-based sounds on the same label.

Some of the four tracks start and finish with a jarring, glitchy scratching – there’s even the nostalgic clunk of a cassette being inserted into a tape machine. At times these glitches mark a change of mood, but always serve to remind us of the static in the artist’s name.

A gorgeous sense of weightless drifting is conveyed by the two opening tracks; there’s nothing but open expanses of ambient sound, with a feeling of upwards movement. A few changes in key keep the interest, with any recognisable instrumentation being kept to a minimum, and the static marking the end of the track stirs the listener from introspection. The glitch between tracks two and three, and the start ‘Any of Us’, marks a change in tone and the start of a beat, and a warm pulse almost like a heartbeat. The haziness of the percussion fits the music well, I think, and conveys the loose theme of the album – about the sense of loneliness and isolation one can feel in a social setting – since the production gives one a feeling of being disconnected, separate.

The music builds towards the end of ‘Any of Us’ and carries on into final track ‘Make of It’, which uses slowly developing synths to raise the volume and intensity, and which has the effect of making the listener feel uncomfortable and tense. I’m sure it’s wholly deliberate, as the whole EP is like a journey, starting as it does with introspection, openness and a drifting sensation, and then creating a more alert state in the listener with its disconnected beat. It ends with an almost oppressive crescendo of synths and cacophonous drone. At the very end it tails out into a more restful vibe, with the sound of waves on a seashore, which is a relief to the senses. The journey is complete and the story that Is All tells has a peaceful conclusion. This is an interesting debut ambient EP from Veins of Static, truly mind-expanding music.

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