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Aramid - Mountain Sounds CD (album) cover

MOUNTAIN SOUNDS

Aramid

 

Post Rock/Math rock

4.00 | 1 ratings

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TCat
4 stars "Aramid" is a project from Bryan Bulmer, founded in Seattle, WA in 2015. Bryan was previously part of a duo called "Wolves in Aramid" as drummer and vocalist. Aramid is designated post/math rock with a sound that is typically ambient and often inspired by the wilderness of the pacific northwest.

The project has released 2 full length albums and 2 EPs as of June, 2019. The second EP is called "Mountain Sounds". This EP is made up of 6 tracks with a run time of over 30 minutes, with Bryan providing all of the instrumentation and composition for the tracks. The EP is available on Bandcamp for digital download. This EP features various instruments other than guitar, which is usually the main instrument on past recordings, but mostly remain slow and peaceful focusing on atmosphere and texture.

"Sow the Emerald Fields" sets the mood with layered sustained synths and atmospheric sounds that move around like slow and low hanging clouds. A higher pitched melodic line plays softly in the background as if it is hidden in the clouds. "The Greenhouse" begins in a more minimal way with a single wandering melody. This is later joined by more layers and gives the song a more post rock feel with processed guitar sounds and effects, but remains mostly soft and flowing with a slight build and then slow fade as it ends. "Heart of Stone" features a warm and subdued piano with sustained and echo effects with added layers of synth drones. This builds to an almost orchestral feel as the layers create a string section sound. Subdued drums carry the beautiful sound forward in the last half of the track, but they remain deep in the background.

"Hokkaido" is the longest track at over 8 minutes. It uses synth washes with a percussive, tonal instrument, playing in the background softly. The music just floats along with a slight build and more layers again creating a soft orchestral feel, and again subdued drums appear deep in the layered sound. At 6 minutes, the music slowly deconstructs to a minimal, soft synth created sound. "I've Seen this Place Before" is very minimal with washes of synth and guitar flowing in and out around you. There is a bit more intensity added at 3 minutes, but the waves of sound continue to ebb and flow. Another increase at 4 minutes bring the washes of sound closer. This fades far into the distance a minute later. The atmospheric EP closes with "Casting Shadows" with a soft chiming guitar that has a definite post rock sound, but again, it is subdued and surrounded by echoing effects that slowly build a wall around it. The sound shimmers and moves around.

The music is definitely post rock, but remains textural throughout, not distinct and melodic. Soft, relaxing atmospheres are created, usually slowly building and then waning, with controlled dynamics, never building to an extreme, but giving more of a feeling like you are approaching and then moving slowly away from something. The EP is relaxing and does a great job of evoking soundscapes inspired by natural scenes. This is excellent music, well composed and performed, that never becomes threatening, but still has a dynamic feel to it, albeit very slow and gradual and dreamlike.

TCat | 4/5 |

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