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Deorbit — Retrogradient
(Bandcamp no#, 2023, DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2024-04-11

Retrogradient Cover art

Retrogradient is a musical hologram. You can sample a few seconds from any of the nine tracks and it sounds like the entire album. The only variation that stands out across the album is the tempo. Based on the album title, the band’s name, and the astronomical references in the track titles, I was expecting something like a modern take on space music, even with the promo material stating that Deorbit is an instrumental amalgamation of prog, sludge, doom, stoner, psych, and post rock. Instead, what Deorbit delivers on Retrogradient is a mind numbing 44 minutes of sludgy distortion that you can only escape by deorbiting back to Earth. Hailing from Milwaukee, WI, Deorbit is the trio of longtime friends James Becker (bass, cello), Jerry Hauppa (guitar, hammered dulcimer, hurdy-gurdy, synth, violin), and Antonio Ninham (drums). Given the non-stop sludge and distortion, for the life of me, I cannot identify any of the instruments except for the guitars and drums. Are they also playing these instruments on the album but they’ve so heavily processed and distorted them that the sound sources are unrecognizable? Hearing the hammered dulcimer, hurdy-gurdy, cello, and violin would have gone a long way in adding a psych vibe that would have helped improve the overall listening experience. As it is, I could only tolerate the three minutes of the title track that opens the album. Caveat emptor, approach this album with caution, unless you thrive on relentless sonic assaults on your senses.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Deorbit

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