Review Summary: The world is your club, but no one ever seems to come.
Perhaps one of the most prominent and prolific noise artists, Dominick Fernow is involved in numerous projects spanning multiple genres. And while his most high-profile gig may be helming the synths for Cold Cave, Fernow is best associated with the Prurient moniker. Having been around now for a good decade and a half, Prurient alone has covered a lot of ground within various forms of noise, ambient, and power electronics. 2011’s noteworthy Bermuda Drain
saw the project make a push toward electro-industrial and darkwave while still maintaining some of the more abrasive elements to which Fernow fans have come to expect.
Recorded in the same sessions as Bermuda Drain
, Through the Window
makes a lot of sense in terms of progression, sharing even more in common with the simply hypnotic beats of Dominick’s own Vatican Shadow alias. And while they may not have been recorded before his move from New York to Los Angeles, the state of mind captured within the three tracks certainly hint toward the vast desert metropolis. The Prurient camp describes the album as “juxtaposing the conceptual and real life realms that power electronics can represent with the artificial environments of the dance floor and the club. A hall of mirrors, sycophants, fair-weather friends and social vampires." These types of statements don’t come any more concise or self-aware.
At its core, Through the Window
is (mostly) danceable music for the antisocial. Slick, polished beats reverberate through the speakers with an underlying paranoia, insecurity. Over the monotonously thumping bass, subtle background textures slide in and out, slowly shaping and evolving the landscape. Rapid synth sequences give way to industrial pulsing and eventually grating noise before closing the whole thing down with the exceptional “You Show Great Spirit.” Dark and entrancing, the track somehow broods at an upbeat tempo: Part rave anthem, part digital meditation. The record sees Dominick showcasing a lot of influence from the past, as sounds of early ‘90s nightlife and seedy parties are forced through a cynical 21st century filter. EBM, electro-industrial, and early European techno are all lovingly revisited, but he manages to make the album feel as modern as it does retro-homage.
Mr. Fernow hasn’t reinvented the wheel, but he has delivered the soundtrack for a moody, midnight drive to nowhere – music for head-bobbing and soul-searching. While the next step for the project remains anyone’s guess, Through the Window
distinguishes itself as a welcomed change of pace for the artist and a standout addition to the extensive Prurient catalog. Just don’t be surprised if the next release is hours of harsh noise or power electronics.