Monday, April 17, 2017
Released via the Australian label Room 40 on February 17th, 2k17 was "Cruel Optimism" by the composer Lawrence English who has been as staple in the experimental electronic music scene ever since his first release in 2002 and who is also the man and mastermind behind the label himself. With this set of ten new works, a lot of them collaborations with musicians like Werner Dafeldecker, Norman Westberg, Mary Rapp and many others at their initial stage, Lawrence English is wrapping his head around the desolate state our planet is in, a general feel of disillusionment and many other aspects of our broken global society. Although being a fully instrumental as well as beatless record which makes the outlining of what could be a, well..., kinda political or general statement through revolutionary beats or the use of vocal lines more of a difficult thing this meta-topic shines through in terms of bringing us both a kinda bleak and faded version of Ambient as well as highly dramatic, climaxing build-ups like in the 96 seconds of "Hammering A Screw" - a quite apocalyptic call to the last judgement followed by the noisy roars of a hellish ascent towards heavens in the "Requiem For A Reaper" before entering paradisiac realms and ultimate calm in "Pillar Of A Cloud". The "Exquisite Human Microphone" has more of a brooding, dangerous and dramatic touch, presenting dark clarions of swelling intensity, the "Object Of Projection" is the soundtrack to mining, enslaved creatures of the light suffering deep beyond the earths surface in ultimate despair, the "Somnambulist" follows the dark call of doom-announcing clarions again, this time accompanied by additional swells of distorted, fluttering ambience to reach "Moribund Territories" and finally wave goodbye with a calm, yet melancholia-infuced attitude. Good stuff.