Label: InFiné Records
Format: 12” / Digital
Release Date: 07/04/2014
Given the turbulent nature of their previous releases, it’s perhaps little surprise that Spanish duo Fabrizio Rizzin and Pere Solé aka Downliners Sekt have redefined their sound once again with Silent Ascent,their third full-length offering. Having incorporated a diverse array of influences in prior releases from Breakbeat to shoegaze rock, dub-techno seems to be where this latest LP finds its closest signifier. This is perhaps down to the pulsating, vapourous chords which feature frequently through the release. The hypnotic, off-beat sway of ‘Eiger Dreams’ or the featherlight ‘Junior High’ for example wouldn’t sound out of place amongst the Chain Reaction back-catalogue.
This said, the album feels significantly more supple and unconstrained than much dub-techno. Sauntering, off-kilter rhythms are a constant through out LP, a mixture of ‘found sounds’ and live drumming complementing the pair’s warm, inviting atmospheres beautifully. ‘This American Life’ makes an excellent example, easing between opulent swathes of synthesiser, and stuttering, garage inflected drums.
Structurally as well the record has a flexibility often not so characteristic with electronic genres. Ambient soundscapes make their developments subtly, between distant vocal samples - all the more effective for their sparse use. Both ‘Etern’ and following track ‘Balt Shakt II’ feature prominent use of these elements, at times downtrodden and introspective, at others soaringly intense, alternating between faltering half-step and cluttered, double-speed climaxes.
_Silent Ascent _feels like potentially the most mature of Downliners Sekt’s full-length releases, capitalising on the delicate rhythms and evocative melodies which made some of their early EPs so special, whilst keeping a consistent theme throughout.