The aesthetics of darkness are a topic constantly discussed in music. For some, the shrouding of their punk rock sound in a cloak of dark tonality serves as an approach to the night, whereas more metal induced artistry associates violence with the absence of light. On their new split CD, Montreal’s own Tamara Filyavich and Portable Cosmoshrine envelop themselves in a dark tinge throughout showcasing the peace of night as well as the more shocking elements that sundown can bring.
Beginning with a long, ambient-focused tune courtesy of Portable Cosmoshrine, the album first explores the lulling ambiance that comes with the night. The 14 minutes of “re:born” are particularly soothing, the piece breathing with the spirit of light wind. On the 2 tunes that immediately follow, Fliyavich provides more of a shock factor with crisp electronic sounds snapping out of the void. “In the world of Animals” provides a particularly psychotic groove where clashing melodies combine for a frightening final product. After three tunes of Filyavich, the album is handed back over to Portable Cosmoshrine making for a soothing ending.
The combination of the two players serves the album very well as their styles both fit into a certain soundscape with their melodic ideas providing a heavy amount of contrast. Sometimes artists in this genre run into issues with long standing works because the emphasis on ambiance can lead to stagnation, but the subtle changes that occur when the album changes hands make for an especially pleasant work from front to back.
It’s always nice to hear music from Tamara Filyavich. She doesn’t follow the typical album release schedule, but her sound evolution moves fast enough for each new piece of hers to encompass a sense of originality. Also, her collaborative releases seem to push her to change up her style a bit as she must think about the other music on the tape when creating her own. I was particularly blown away by her piece “Return Fire” in the first half of the year and hearing her participate in another fitting collaborative release has captured my attention once again.