Jon Porras - Light Divide

by David Bruggink Rating:8 Release Date:2014-03-24

From one half of 'desert rock' duo Barn Owl comes Light Divide, as subtle and unassuming an electronic album as they come. Often a far cry from the harsh drones and post-rock guitar-lines of his work with Evan Caminiti, Jon Porras' solo project avoids easily-grasped melodies and instead works in fleeting, translucent streaks of sound.

Like the album's cover, there's a pervasive murkiness to this music, but also a sense of order and calm which arises from its subtle but steady kick-drums and flowing synthesizers. Similar to Echospace or Porter Ricks, some of Porras' instruments of choice are waves of soft, vapor-like hiss and reverberating taps and clacks, breaking through the darkness.

However, Light Divide is content to blend more readily into the background, and as music for breathing atmosphere into everyday moments, it serves excellently. A casual drive to the library to return some Adventure Time DVDs, for example, can be transformed into a stirring period of existential soul-searching.

'Apeiron,' the first track and the album's most assertive, reminds of Wolfgang Voigt's sublime Gas albums, Königsforst and Zauberberg. Though constructed of apparently simple elements, it quickly enshrouds you in a deep atmosphere simultaneously ominous and intriguing. Expansive, breath-like textures rise and fall, their side-chained rhythms working with the deep, solid bass to create the track's momentum. Other tracks, like 'Recollection' and 'Divide,' are more ethereal, subsisting without a detectable tempo and allowing silence to create the mood as much as greyscale pads and fragments of industrial noise.

As the album is more geared to colouring your surroundings than directing your attention, it suffers from some of the standard issues which can arise with ambient music. At times, its five tracks seem to blend together, their nuts and bolts not being significantly distinct from each other, and if you listen too closely, you may start to hunger for something closer to a conventional melody. But if you're willing to sit back and let it envelope you, you'll enjoy what it has to offer.

Overall Rating (0)

0 out of 5 stars