A Slow Descent
On Ganymede


4.0
excellent

Review

by Mark A. CONTRIBUTOR (68 Reviews)
March 9th, 2014 | 16 replies


Release Date: 02/14/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Spacey, ethereal keys and abrupt static help to give this release a paranoid and delightfully off-kilter feel; A Slow Descent build a dense look at mounting madness in the face of isolation.

Generally, I find that there are two distinct types of music that I am drawn to. One happens to be the music that I listen to in the car, blasting it so loud that my speakers are almost pleading for a break. This type is, for the most part, the music that has immediacy to it; one that employs catchy choruses and discernible groove. The other type of music is a bit more personal, the kind that I selfishly listen to in my headphones while my other half is sleeping beside me. Ambient music paints a personal picture in my mind, going from an Impressionist lull to a stark, Jackson Pollack-like smear before it becomes white noise fading into the background. It happens to be one of the reasons that I am drawn to the genre in general, and the unique thing that I found in A Slow Descent's first LP On Ganymede was that it told a story that allowed room for interpretation while still sticking with a similar sound throughout.

The first thing that comes to mind when hearing On Ganymede is the interesting contrasts that come up fairly often; Sputnik user and sole member Judio is not content to simply let the songs drift in and out of the listener's mind. Spacey, ethereal keys and abrupt static help to give this release a paranoid and delightfully off-kilter feel as it progresses. Even the more palatable arrangements give out an undeniably eerie feeling, and the somewhat lesser production value is actually something that helps to keep it an obtuse and interesting listen. The unnerving and incoherent monologue that begins first song "Ganymede I...Distress Signal" has certainly been used before, but the overarching cinematic sound and twiddling electronics that are lower in the mix show some serious dynamism until an abstract distortion takes center stage to end the song. It is fairly indicative of the entire album, as seemingly random instruments come storming in at just the right time when songs are succumbing to a lull. While it sometimes seems a little too forced, there are many more times when it fits the abstract and lofty storyline. Penultimate track "III...Terrible, Terrible" demonstrates this perfectly, as an undulating melody resonates throughout the song, sometimes through electronics and other times a piano. As it trades back and forth, a strong feeling of dread is palpable throughout the entire track.

On Ganymede is a monolithic and demanding listen, which means that its positives are also what others may not like about it. The sameness in tonality throughout the album could put some people off, while the abrupt changes that pop up in the songs could be too experimental for a casual listener of the genre. The strength of the release shines through on the last track "IV...Float Back Home", which boasts a cautiously optimistic feel to it that is absent throughout much of On Ganymede. It is truly the only way for it to end, as too bright and airy of a song would have been out of place on such a content-heavy ambient release. As the warm synth-like line from the last track on here envelopes me, I close my eyes and imagine what it would be like to trapped somewhere far from home. It's not that hard to imagine, and I suppose that's why it was easy for me to connect with the spacey sounds present on On Ganymede.



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user ratings (33)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
Atari CONTRIBUTOR (3.5)
Welcome to Ganymede, you may never find your way back home....


Comments:Add a Comment 
cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2014


2100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wrote all this before I saw Atari's review and thought, "Well shit." Posting anyway because Judio deserves the attention on this album. It's a great one.

Digging: The Amazing - Picture You

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2014


12800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great rev man! You know what? You and Atari have intrigued me. I'm gonna give Judio the benefit of the

doubt and try this again this week.

VheissuCrisis
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2014


1130 Comments


Though I don't think I'll dig this, this is really nicely written as usual man, pos.

cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2014


2100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, Mongi! If you can, try listening as if it were a movie soundtrack. It helps the more jarring moments and helps them to make more sense.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2014


20270 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome job man! Had no idea you were planning on reviewing this too haha. Pretty much agree with all the stuff u said. Pos

Digging: Daisyhead - The Smallest Light

cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2014


2100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Dan! I value your feedback on my writing, so that means a lot. It's not for everyone, but I can see a lot of people enjoying this.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2014


12800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I do that what most post rock I listen do haha this was a little jarring to me from what I remember, but like I said, I will try it again.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2014


20270 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think it's supposed to be jarring :3

cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2014


2100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, Atari; heading over to read yours now lol. I didn't know you were reviewing it either, but now Judio should be set lmao.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2014


12800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Meaning, the bad kind of jarring. Time has passed so maybe I'll like it when I spin this again.

cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2014


2100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like the jarring elements of it, though. It gives it a bit of a unique nature.

jefflebowski
March 9th 2014


8258 Comments


this is potentially fantastic if the terrible, terrible MIDI sounds were replaced with the real thing

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2014


6716 Comments


Outstanding review, thelastsignal, I excepted no less from you! Thank you so writing this, man, and Im realy glad you enjoyed it! Posssss'd!

Mongi you are awesome, I hope you enjoy it more when you relisten to it. I'd appreciate some feedback after you spin it again if you don't mind :]

And jeffleboski thanks for the feedback, in the future I will try to move more and more away from MIDI. Been trying to purchase some recording equipment so I will actually be able to play my piano without it sounding ultra lo-fi.

Digging: The Phonies - Your Body Lost Along the Shore

cryptside
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2014


2100 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man! I look forward to hearing your music in future to see how it progresses.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 9th 2014


12800 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll certainly hit u up when I listen again

jefflebowski
March 9th 2014


8258 Comments


'And jeffleboski thanks for the feedback, in the future I will try to move more and more away from MIDI. Been trying to purchase some recording equipment so I will actually be able to play my piano without it sounding ultra lo-fi.'

just realized i think i alreayd mentioned this same criticism in an earlier thread, so apologies if i sound overly-insistent. Obviously it's not a problem that's your fault and the potential in the music still really shines through



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