Zac Keiller is a musician hailing from Australia who in addition to having created thirty sound works also runs the Dreamland Recordings label. For his own music, Keiller states, "Many of the works are long, melancholy, dark, and abrasive and sometimes cause feelings of disappointment and or unpleasantness." "Marines" is a short album of guitar and electronic based tracks that are certainly melancholy and dark, but are still soothing and meditative. Ultimately, the deep, atmospheric sounds of this album are anything but disappointing.
Working with guitars and a series of electronic effects, Keiller creates an excellent mood piece based in deep drones and guitar loops. The resulting songs are a beautiful combination of ambient, glitch, field recordings, and experimental guitar music. "Marines" begins quietly with the piece "Violence is a Precision Instrument." A series of high-pitched, well-spaced guitar notes stretch across the piece while the electronic background rumbles in chaotic contrast. After that track, the music builds in intensity reaching full power at the album's midpoint, particularly on "Sunken City." Here, Keiller softens the sound of short, distorted guitar blasts with a wall of static and plays it over a background of soft drones and echoing guitar notes. Amazingly, the song boils with the intensity of the distorted guitar, yet at the same time is calmed and balanced by the background noises. Following this track, the music continues on its journey and the sounds grow more subdued as the album winds down, ending with recordings of waves crashing over dark background music on "Secrets."
With "Marines," Zac Keiller has created an album of well thought out experimental and ambient music that does not wear out its welcome. Really, the beauty of the music is all the more powerful because it feels so fleeting. Bottom line, it's a pleasure to let this music flood into the senses for any amount of time. 8/10 -- Matt Blackall (28 November, 2007)