From the needle drop, I listened intently, drawn into Darksmith's assemblages. When the side ended, I flipped the record, anxious to hear more. With the scrape of the final run-out groove, I was tempted to start again on the first side, but I paused and allowed the album to reverberate and settle in my memory. Below are thoughts and observations from that first listen.
"Shared Empty Space" broods with slowed vocal sounds interspersed with short bursts of static. The higher scrapes sit atop the murk of teeming murmurs and rustles of objects and people. The murmurs drop out signaling a way into "Six Interiors." Sounds of machinery slow and are overtaken by skitters of tape and breath. Small pops break through the layers of sound calling to mind a small fire refracted by memory, and the intimate lack of distance between source sound and recording knits the pieces together.
A pause precedes "The Phantom Other Half." There's more room here. Repeated tapping of feet or hands or other things goes on behind a revving engine that could just as easily be a slowed purr; the taxonomy is unimportant. The internal rhythms work around each other, coexisting without progression or pattern. "Now, A Blue Period" drops in with a hiss and clatter that obscures a loop I may have heard before. Or, perhaps I’m mistaken. There's a melody somewhere beneath it, but I need to hear the run-out groove to be sure.
"Your Bridges Are Already Burned" begins with hinges and a door slam. Pots seem to be scraped in the midst of a distorted streetscape. A hazy melody hangs far behind the dry crackle at the start of "Everything is Breaking." It grows more ominous with queasy loops and buzzes. As with the preceding pieces, Darksmith avoids progression in favor of a sense of suspension.
Hearing the record from start to finish alone immersed in sounds I knew but could not make sense of, there was a delicate unease that felt familiar as it grew and dissipated. As the closing title suggests, "The Night Stretches Way Out." 10/10 -- Howard Martin (14 April, 2010)