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Aperus — Weather Anomalies
(Bandcamp Geophonic GEOCD06, 2021, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-12-15

Weather Anomalies Cover art

The first few minutes of the opener “Echoes of Thunderbirds” remind me of one cold, wet night I spent under a bridge during a storm, with large trucks and cars driving over the top, shaking the structure. Yes, I was on a long hitch-hiking trip, and was deposited in some godforsaken place along the highway, and had no other place to take shelter, and so there I waited the storm out until morning when clear skies returned. Well over a year in the making, inspired by the chaos and fires around his home base of Santa Fe, New Mexico in the summer of 2020, Aperus’ Weather Anomalies finds ambient composer Brian McWilliams combining found sounds and field recordings made over a number of years with ambient and experimental electronics, looped, agitated, and raw, often in a dark, challenging and chaotic way, and at other times comforting and releasing, using analog synth gear, often with guitar pedals to achieve the rough edged lo-fi sounds we hear on these nine tracks. The longest track is the title cut that’s roughly the length of an album side, and certainly covers a lot of territory as an ongoing amorphous sound sculpture; it’s one of those pieces you’ll want to repeat a few times before getting on with the others. For something shorter in duration, there is “Up in Flames” that conveys a world of mad chaos over its three-minute duration, yet remains gentle on the nerves; some voice samples in the background as the piece fades adds to its overall mystery, joining it to the next piece “Collective Memories,” which pushes the sound back into more colorful territory. On several of the tracks, McWilliams has guest musicians contributing flutes, guitars and additional synths, track depending, although fused with the field recordings and extensive studio processing, it’s hard to know exactly what you are listening to at any given point in time, nor would one really want to know, as it’s better just to accept these sonic sculptures at face value without overanalyzing them. Wonderful and Immersive, just lie back and enjoy what you are absorbing.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Aperus

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