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|22 November 2016||
SNTS - Losing Sight
After a succession of impressive EPs known as Chapters 1-3 (2012-13) and Scenes 1-3 (2014-15), as well as debut LP The Rustling of The Leaves (2015), SNTS brings forth a new label—Sacred Court, for the release of his second album Losing Sight, which was produced in a cave studio no less.
Stoic drones get us started in Our Only Hope: distorted high peaks reach aloft, a rumbling bass throughout threatens to rip through the speakers at any moment; it's an incredibly powerful surge, you won't fail to be shaken and stirred up by the chilling cathedral-esque ambiance. Follower The Grinding Inside lives up to its name as the coarse beats do just that; dense with texture, it paints a picture of a freight train ploughing through a cold, innercity landscape at night. Rattling and bouncing, its overladen carriages are kept on the rails by muffled conversations that seemingly bind everything together perfectly in this bleak setting. The hard-beaten Limited Perception plays out as a palpable paranoia, with thunderous kicks that punch with force of a heavyweight boxer, while harmonic, metallic fragments, reverberated and stressed outright do their best to put you on edge; it's nerve-racking, twitch-inducing and rest-excising from beginning to end. Driven by antiquated machinery, Telepathic Thought has about it a disconcerting menace, a trip back in time into the 19th century, shrieking whistles and barely detectable, glittering hats distract a little from the deafening industrial flow, masking the concerned chatter surrounding another premature infantile death in the factory, long before regulation. The cold, ghostly atmospheres on Blindfolded are bludgeoned by buffed, steel hats and bruised by ferocious, tight kicks, running it steady and purposeful 4/4 patterns; it is exhaustively rhythmic and pushes you to the point of disorientation, before a sighing and wheezing chorus of machine movements pulls you back from the brink. Improving Sense leads out with angry, flattened, bass-greedy kicks and an intense locomotive churn, which at no point abates; contrarily, there's something deeply thoughtful and reflective about the complementary, distorted motorized groaning. Daydream projects an exploratory outlook underpinned by ethereal ambient pads and thrusting, percussive pulses; mysterious and contemplative, it charters the unknown, interspersed with vocal samples that bring into mind the many radio communications between astronauts and ground control from any number of missions executed around the world—indeed, it would make a good fit for a soundtrack to space exploration activities. On final track Beyond Reach, harmonics reach up as stalagmites in a mineral-rich environment, piercing the vibrating rhythmic noise emanating from the murky depths of a vast cave system; sharp, intensely moody and darkly sophisticated, it's reminiscent of Vangelis's Bladerunner score.
Our international man of mystery builds on his impressive output on the SNTS Records with an incredible LP to launch the Sacred Court Imprint. Almost completely devoid of any 4/4 action, this may be a challenge for those solely focused on the dancefloor, however Losing Sight is a masterpiece of modern production and sound design. Never shy from experimenting, SNTS has engineered one of the finest and most interesting records of 2016, combining noise, drone, and techno abstractions, fettling them just enough before sending them off to post-industrial heaven—or hell.
Words by b.yond.
Release Type: Album
Release Date: 22 November 2016
Release Format: Vinyl
Record Label • Catalog: Sacred Court • SCXLP001