"I wasn't going to parties as much, but just that sound of being in the forest, away from the actual party but hearing the way it echoes through a forest and feels soft... I still remember those moments where it was morning and cold and the music was just right, echoing from just being outside." - Jamie McCue, excerpt from interview
You just can't call Silent Season as ambient dub techno label. When you look at the visual aesthetic or listen soundscapes of their releases, you could be dragged into the wilderness, into endless woods, somewhere in British Columbia. You feel that label is extension of nature and surroundings, and you can't separate Silent Season's music (and artwork) from misty air, frozen lakes and endless forests. Silent Season is a part of the ecosystem, the cultural extension of it. In that state of solitude and connection with the nature, it's easy to imagine label's modus operandi: listen, absorb atmosphere and ambience, and then use your soul and mind, as reflection, and turn it into the music, into the art.
Also it's ungrateful to categorise Silent Season's releases. It's somewhere between ambient/dub/field music/techno. You could hear influences from Basic Channel and Kompakt’s Pop Ambient series, but also on the other side you could find elements of “Pacifica electronica” like The Sight Below and bvdub. But let’s leave pop cultural references: sound of Silent Season’s releases and authenticity is deeply rooted in every tree branch, every drop of rain, and dense fog of pristine nature of Comox Valley in British Columbia.
Main subject of our review, is the mysterious man, as it was mentioned in press release, a secluded forest dweller residing in the rugged Dinaric Alps. Concept behind music is an abstract story about Mystic who wonders through the Dinaric Alps, in search of “knowledge” and “power”, who also uses water and its powers and ability to preserve and pass to experiences and knowledge to those who can relate to it (listeners). So he could connect with the “World” and his own true self. Also to help others do the same, if only they decide to take a “leap of fate” and to start the journey. Also you will need to know that the album is inspired by the visual atmosphere of the movies directed by “visual wizard”: Andreiy Tarkovsky, and you will find a lot of similarities.
Video for opening title track Aeterna:
Album starts with title track Aeterna, which reminds on dream scene from Stalker, in which we see lost artifacts of our civilisation. This could be connected with some modern theories: that water and ice have ability to preserve information and memories, so it could be used as “the door” that connects past, present and future. Track Kalinovik, deep techno track, in which Mystic finds old black and white photos, and realise they are made in future. Those photos also took him down the memory lane, to the past, but he can’t remember where, and why are they so important.
Tracks like Nastir Sana and U Brdima have quite optimistic, uplifting melodies, Mystic feel happiness before traveling – even if he goes into uncharted territory, in the dark woods. He feels ready to continue his journey. Sutra sounds like ritualistic music where Mystic get himself in state of trance, so he could see other sides of reality. And Sutra is connected with track Kozara: kinda darkwave/dub techno track about the nightmares where he sees great monument destroyed, shattered into rocks and steel, which can be bad omen. And in the end, closing track Sana, slowly building shows our Mystic in state where his journey has ended. What has he learned, did he find what he was looking for... we don't know. And it's up to listener to finish this story.
This piece of music is quite complex, it really asks for yours full attention and imagination. Production-wise, Aeterna is full of melodies and harmonies that juxtapose, then dissolve, and then again juxtapose and dissolve again, and again. So it gives to listener full freedom (and responsibility) to make connections inside their minds, to make their own constructions and paths of Mystic’s journey. Imagine those sounds like clouds, and only you can make objects and understand those meanings.
In the wilderness, the man who let himself to listen, to see, to absorb what wilderness has to give, only then he can find the meaning inside himself as a “gift” – on the other hand that “gift” is different from person to person, everyone’s unique. I would like to point out, something that Carlos Castaneda used to teach: “moment of stopping inner-conversation”, actually it is moment of cleansing your mind from outside influences we carry in ourselves. Only then you’re in position to feel the “world”. So I think that's one of the Mystik's gifts for the listeners.
So conclusion is: Seraphym Rytm (AKA Damaskin) has tried, with his musical language, to express interaction between “world” and himself. And our description of Mystic’s voyage end here. Now it’s up to you to continue, to travel, to feel, to learn, to find the knowledge.
For more news about new releases on Silent Season and mixes, check: