How To Cure Our Soul – Luna (Low Point, 2016)

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How often and for how many millennia have humans looked up at the sky and been intrigued by the stars and the ethereal glowing face of the Moon, this waxing and waning orb that sometimes blends seamlessly into the blue sky of daytime as well as gracing the darkness with its cool grey brilliance. The Moon has inspired much, whether that be scientific innovation or artistic imagination, and is often seen in a romantic and mysterious light as this unattainable celestial guardian, but sometimes it’s also the source of more haunting and creepy constructions, of moody atmospherics that highlight it as a dark harbinger endlessly circling overhead. Such is the nature of Italian duo How To Cure Our Soul’s latest Drone-Ambient excursion in the relevantly titled Luna.

Its earliest moments are moderately deceptive however, as “From the village to the country under the moonlight” traverses from the tantalising escape of white-drone shimmers and trembling mirages of fluctuating sound into the dark and more ominous territory that much of the rest of the record inhabits; almost without warning we’re cast out into the lonely dark with nothing but imposing and suddenly very apparent stringed drones to keep us company. There’s something very judgemental and oppressive about its new found sound too, as though our curiosity and adventurous naivety is being looked down upon by this great celestial eye that has seen all for countless generations. Eventually its 12 minutes are up and we collapse into the shorter interstitial trappings of “Midnight: song of crickets on the green hill”, spinning out in crystalline drones caught in placid coolness as it turns in frozen spirals of gently oscillating movements and gentle thrummings, its eyes closed and in concert with nature.

Before long we find ourselves face-to-face with the bleak drama of finalé “Night climb to the Mount Analogue” and its lonely reductive melancholia. It really is a haunting and seemingly endless expanse of slowly accumulating textures and volumetric gains, advancing on faintly mechanical drone rotations and electronic hummings, spinning us out listlessly into the night and the scary scale of planetary deep time, reliving the countless millions of rotations in which our orbiting companion has passed helplessly overhead.

Its long builds and auto-hypnotic excitations can feel a little overlong and poorly evolving if you listen too carefully, but if you allow yourself to get caught up and carried along by its miasmic turnings without demanding too much I think this record has a lot to offer.

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