Slow Dancing Society
The Sound of Lights When Dim



by Micky67 USER (12 Reviews)
February 15th, 2007 | 9 replies

Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This album knocked me for 6. Rarely have I been so bowled over by an album, that totally came out of the blue. Thank you myspace for hooking em up!

Music is all about moments like this. Moments when you are, unexpectedly, knocked over and stunned into submission by an album that has, quite literally, came from nowhere. Washington based producer, Drue Sullivan has managed to do just that, under his Slow Dancing Society moniker. “The Sound of Lights When Dim” is a deeply affecting, consistently excellent effort of stunning tranquillity and beautiful ambience, that demands repeated listening.

There is a fabulous quote from Brian Eno on Slow Dancing Society’s biography, it reads: “Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening without enforcing on in particular…” These sentiments are executed with a degree of perfection on “Sounds of Lights…” in all eight compositions.

It all starts off with “Be There”, a hazy ambient passage featuring reverbed guitar that reflects the calmness of those early hours of the morning, just when the sun starts to creep its way across the sky. “Radiance” follows and makes use of excellent glacial notes and distantly soft beats, while soothing acoustic guitar work evokes images of a flower blooming in Spring-time.

There are plenty of influences throughout “The Sound of Lights..”, I can hear bits and pieces of Pink Floyd, Explosions In The Sky, Hammock and various IDM artists. Although it is now over-used, to the point of annoyance, when describing ambient music. There are subtle hints of Sigur Ros too. “The Delicate Sounds of Silence” recalls that “Untitled” ep from a few years ago, although this time there are no Hopelandish lyrics or ice-cool e-bowed guitars. Instead, it’s warm, sun-kissed ambience, twinkling notes and tantalising waves of soft distortion. It really is magical stuff.

A number of song titles hint at regrets or the loss of someone close. “ A Song That Will Help You Forget”, for example, combines resplendent guitar harmonics and an echoed click-beat. By now you realise Sullivan is a superbly talented musician. One of the key components I look out for in music, these days, is restraint and Sullivan understands this concept clearly. He knows when to direct a track, ascending with distortion and clearer programming, but equally he knows when to let a song cascade back to sedate atmospheres too.

“How Life Was Meant To Be Lived”, simply put, is this album's showpiece. Imagine “Wish You Were Here” era Floyd remixed by a contemporary electronic artist. The atmospheric slide guitar melds with intelligent and crisp programming to devastating effect. It’s a perfect piece of emotional ambience.

Slow Dancing Society employs velvety synths that wash all over you and intricate guitar playing that tugs at your heart-strings. “The Sound of Lights When Dim” feels like the soundtrack for that moment when you are supposed to arrive at the gates of heaven. When I finally succumb, I hope I hear the opening strains of this album. That way, I’ll know I’ve made it. Hidden Shoal Recordings have a masterpiece on their hands

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user ratings (30)

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 15th 2007


I thought I was up on my electronica, but these are new to me. Are they really that good?

There are subtle hints of Sigur Ros too. “The Delicate Sounds of Silence” recalls that “Untitled” ep from a few years ago

I like Sigur Ros, especially 'Takk'. This seems worth a listen

February 15th 2007


Awesome review. It's a little ugly to look at with the short paragraphs and spacing (adding them together could do this review a world of justice).

But yeah, what he said. ^^^

February 16th 2007


This sounds cool

February 16th 2007


Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for the tips, I am just used to writing like that from the various webzines I've contributed to, just a habit really.

I thought I was up on my electronica, but like I said, this came out of nowhere. I love "Takk" too, you will love this album. It has a similar delicate nature to Sigur Ros' music

February 21st 2007


I listened to "How Life Was Meant To Be Lived" and it certainly intrigued me, but this sounds like the kind of album best listened to in its entirety.

February 22nd 2007


Album Rating: 5.0

You're right, listen to this from start to finish. It's gorgeous

September 21st 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

Cool review, man.

Inspiring line you had that put words to my subconscious thoughts - "One of the key components I look out for in music, these days, is restraint..."


September 21st 2010


Sooooo fucking gooooodddd

Iamthe Nightstars
March 22nd 2018


Album Rating: 3.5

That last song is so depressing in a nostalgic sort of way.

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