HILYARD – DIVISION CYCLE
Division Cycle is released on the Cryo Chamber label, a label specialized in “cinematic dark ambient music”. ‘Darkness’ in music is a very subjective matter. Personally, I do not think the music on this album is extremely ‘dark’, even though the track titles suggest so (Of Hatred And Wrath, Altars Of Warflesh, Roots and Bones), and the accompanying liner notes are not exactly happy-go-lucky either. In my experience, this is a ‘relaxing’ album, in the way a dark misty night can be soothing in its own special way. The music definitely on Division Cycles has an eerie undercurrent, but it’s more ‘natural’ than ‘threatening’.
(Bryan) Hilyard masters the craft to arrange his layered drones in such a way that they feel as if your brainwaves are realigned as if they are prepared for total immersion. Especially when played through loudspeakers the soundwaves seem to interact with the room acoustics in such a way that it’s easy to imagine you are getting prepared to enter a new dimension. And that, in itself, can be rather scary indeed …
RNGMNN – FALSE DAWN
Judged by the music and the cover art, this could’ve been another release on Cryo Chamber, but it is not: False Dawn is released on the Dutch Winter-Light label.
The unpronounceable RNGMNN is short for Ronny Engmann, an artist with an impressive track record according to the discography on his website. The Cryo Chamber association is no coincidence: in 2019, RNGMNN released a collaboration album with Dronny Darko called Sector Hydra. That same year he also released his previous album on the Winter-Light label: Arctic Interference.
‘Arctic’ and ‘Dark’ are indeed the keywords here: this album “shrouds the listener in a blanket of ice-cold, polar dark ambience”.
The deep, almost ritualistic drums deepen the menacing effect of these eight soundscapes.