Dirk Serries has, over the decades, worked on numerous projects and countless releases. It’s therefore no surprise that in 2015 (so far) he’s featured in two new albums: one solo (which will be subject of another review) and one where he’s teamed up with Rutger Zuydervelt (Machinefabriek), another soundscaping artist with an ever-growing oeuvre.
As I’m getting to know more bands and albums in the ambient/drone/soundscape genre, my preference for these instrumental and rhythmless tracks seems to be determined by a single question: does the music paint a scene so clearly that I can immediately visualize it? Basically, the same experience as with impressionistic composers: no clear-cut onset or ending for a scene in which life steadily comes and goes. (Even though the artist could have an entirely different idea or reason, of course.)
For “Buoyant”, the answer to that question is a resounding yes. My imagination conjured up some futuristic, floating vessels going about their daily routine (at least during track one). Despite some underlying distortion and sudden tiny outbursts, the thick, full synths are extremely soothing and so the framework of the soundscape. All additional sounds simply fit in like they’re the most natural thing happening.
The following chapters are somewhat graver and deeper, albeit in the same style as the first. The synths remain unchanged in their essence, but as the story evolves, the mood gradually becomes darker and more esoteric – everything feels more dissonant and minor, and you’ve just got to admire how subtle these guys bring it about. Nice piece of collaborative work.
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