Carbon Based Lifeforms
Derelicts


3.8
excellent

Review

by insomniac15 STAFF
October 9th, 2017 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Picking up where they left off back in 2010...

After releasing the brilliant Interloper, Carbon Based Lifeforms spent some years indulging in the droning side of their project, crafting the solid Twentythree and VLA, as well as recording a soundtrack to the movie Refuge. The latter saw them expanding the sound towards minimalist post rock and trance music a la Gas. These LPs were nice experiments, still none had the charm and catchiness of previous endeavors. A long wait preceded its release, however, Derelicts gladly picks up where the Swedish duo left off back in 2010.

Right from the beginning, ‘Accede’ wraps us into its warm, airy, synth-heavy atmosphere that gently unfolds with each minute passing by. The steady beats accompany the melodic sequencers while the band subtly adds distortion to create an expansive tone. The title track further develops this vibe through a wall of ambient pads anchored to a deep, peaceful bass line. Spoken words are vaguely interspersed with the instrumental, thus creating a Journey to the Edge of the Universe-like setting where you are aboard a space ship watching planets & stars color your view. ‘Clouds’, ‘Path of Least Resistance’ and ‘Nattväsen’ share breezy moments that reminisce Hammock’s output, yet they feel more comforting as if you were about to discover something beautiful. This is what I always loved about CBL, they have a soothing sound that evokes passion although the music is heavily processed.

After a rather long subdued middle stretch, Derelicts is rejuvenated by cuts like ‘780 Days’, ‘~42’ or main highlight, ‘Dodecahedron’. The former acts as a transition from lush, dreamy moments to vivid, engaging ones. Starting with sparse bell-like leads and a background synth, we enter a lovely second half complete with drum patterns and multiple layers of keyboards playing in unison. The swaying rhythm is restful and paves the way for the ‘80s-tinged ‘~42’. This ditty is a tad darker, relying on an intense vibe created by low-pitched analog progressions over which glistening notes tag along. Moreover, ‘Dodecahedron’ feels like you’ve finally reach your destination. In my opinion, this is definitely the album’s climax as it delivers like no other song here. Each layer gradually adds to a really lush experience. The lead keys playing during the mid-segment are golden (reminding a bit of the ones present on other key CBL tracks such as ‘MOS 6581’ or ‘Interloper’). On the first listen, I was expecting for a magnificent tune like this one. You can easily appreciate it especially within the context and even as a standalone epic. Then, we’re slowly returning home with ‘Loss Aversion’ & ‘Everwave’. The fading energy smoothly puts the trip to an end, leaving us to descend into a 14-minute, loose albeit misty droning epic. The group successfully integrated some of their recent experiments into the grooves of the older material, making this LP an immersive affair.

Overall, Derelicts is another strong album under the band’s belt, however, I feel it could have been even better. The two members should have insisted more on powerful tracks and less on ambient ones. I realize the atmosphere is everything, yet the album would have been more vibrant that way. Carbon Based Lifeforms sound best when they unfold to create punchier cuts. Of course, the contrasting numbers augment this feeling, however, there is slight lack of balance here. Nevertheless, this record is a must listen for any fan of the genre and can easily be enjoyed by those who are not accustomed to this type of music. I am really happy the guys are back with such good music and I hope we won’t wait another four years for something new.




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user ratings (32)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2017


4388 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Excellent album, stream it here in its entirety - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2rIOTby0gk

ComeToDaddy
October 9th 2017


1611 Comments


I'm so stoked to hear this is great, going to jam at work today and will report back. Killer job with the review

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2017


4388 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks man! It's not as good as Interloper IMO (that one for me's their best stuff), but it's in the same vein.

onionbubs
October 9th 2017


6806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love this. not as good as hydro through interloper but it definitely beats out twentythree

Digging: Gang of Youths - Go Farther in Lightness

Evokaphile
October 9th 2017


5930 Comments


WOOO! Awesome to see this getting some love around here.

Digging: Slowdive - Slowdive

bloc
October 9th 2017


44343 Comments


Might skip this one

Digging: Beastmilk - Climax

foxblood
October 9th 2017


7357 Comments


oh hell yea

osmark86
October 9th 2017


5540 Comments


saw these lads this saturday and what a show it was

TheSpaceMan
October 10th 2017


9582 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

great rev man glad theyre back



'The two members should have insisted more on powerful tracks and less on ambient ones'



yup i agree i almost swear i made the same comment in a news article on here

LightChaotic
October 10th 2017


130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It's definitely more ambient than Interloper but that's not really a negative thing for me since I love ambient music. I don't think I'll end up loving it quite as much as Interloper but that's an incredibly high bar and this is still absolutely fantastic.

Pho3nix
October 10th 2017


360 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This will require some re-listens

OmairSh
October 10th 2017


14338 Comments


Oooh, didn't realize they were releasing an album

Evokaphile
October 10th 2017


5930 Comments


The more ambient the better imo, so it sounds like Ill defs enjoy this

Ocean of Noise
October 10th 2017


9774 Comments


These guys fucking r u l e. Need to check this

Digging: Burzum - Filosofem

TheSpaceMan
October 10th 2017


9582 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Evo bro when they play with bass it's hypnotic, not offensive

CaimanJesus
October 10th 2017


2935 Comments


these guys are cool

Digging: Disbelief - Disbelief

Spacesh1p
October 10th 2017


7101 Comments


Gotta check.

Digging: Deadbeat - Drawn and Quartered

MO
October 12th 2017


22011 Comments


sweet gotta check this. Interloper is so perfect

OmairSh
October 13th 2017


14338 Comments


Interloper is my favorite from the ones I've heard

Ocean of Noise
October 13th 2017


9774 Comments


Interesting to see all the love for Interloper here. For me, Hydroponic Garden is easily their best work.



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