(New Album Review) anthéne- permanence

anthéne is Toronto-based drone musician, sound artist and curator of Polar Seas Recordings Brad Deschamps, otherwise known as North Atlantic Drift with Mike Abercrombie. His fine debut tape as anthéne, repose, led us through furrowed paths of ambient synth, guitar, and melodica, with blown-out textures and drowned swirls accentuating the sense of decay to that album’s organic vibe. The general feeling of his new CD for Cathedral Transmissions, Permanence, comes across pretty clearly in the cover photograph by Kasia Cieryt– a faint, stately light standing uncertain guard as night falls.

These excursions on synth, samples and guitar, chilly, calm, yet also very melodic, occasionally reminded me of Angelo Badalamenti for their very cinematic, ethereal unease. The rolling waves of hiss that occasionally trespass indeed give the sense of a darkly transformative dream unfolding, especially on the aching, more guitar-oriented “lowlife”. You think of an empty monochrome room, an unreal stillness. Snow blankets the scene but no snow falls now. On the longest piece, “permanence”, buried voices haunt the background, but ever so gently. It’s only on “small victories” that the sense of disquiet seems to subside in a swelling, impassive flurry. Humble and lovely– though it came out in July, it’s the sort of stuff that you will want to spend some time with on a rainy day in fall.

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