Erstlaub: I Am The Line Drawn In The Sand Between The Living And The Dead
Highpoint Lowlife

Perth, Scotland-based producer Dave Fyans follows up his recent On Becoming An Island with another CD-length composition, this one a forty-six-minute, provocatively-titled exercise in grime-coated dronescaping called I Am The Line Drawn In The Sand Between The Living and The Dead. Executed in one take (sans overdubs and edits) using nothing more than a “Nord G2 engine and a couple of delay units,” the piece unfolds unhurriedly, egged on by vaporous, choir-like exhalations, like a black cloud billowing in slow motion. Elegiac chords can be glimpsed—faintly—from within the aggressively churning mass until the relentless winds threaten to smother the tones entirely. The extended running time allows modulations to occur subtly rather than abruptly and consequently episodes tend to bleed almost imperceptibly into one another; changes in sound design and dynamics, and movements of ebb and flow occur throughout, ensuring that listening interest never flags. Halfway through, you'll think you've been transported to the center of a cyclone while other moments exude an ice-cold ambiance suggestive of deep space and its barren immensity. Often drenched in granular static and heard through a scrim of softly howling winds, Fyans' piece moves into a rather psychedelic kosmische musik-styled episode near the half-hour mark when extended tones buzz like electrical wires and muffled horn tones breathe like distant train whistles blurred by fog. It's at such moments that one hears a recording like Tangerine Dream's Zeit as a credible precursor to I Am The Line Drawn In The Sand Between The Living and The Dead. A product of digital modular synthesis, the work deserves to be heard alongside On Becoming An Island for maximum impact . Dedicated to “everyone on the threshold of existence,” the recording, packaged in a tall DVD case, is available in a lean run of 100 copies so don't wait long if your taste runs to epic, immersive soundscaping.

December 2008