Loss – I Am But The Sum Of My Conditions


[Reviewed by Iaha Crax]

With the passing of time, for an old listener the area of authentic melodies becomes very restrained. Whether you are looking for clearly composed tracks or shocking sounds, you always tend to bring with you certain prejudices and musical souvenirs that affect an actual perception. This relatively common thought came together with the first sounds from the second album released by Loss within 7 years on Ant-Zen in 2013.

This first track, “Smear”, evolves from junk PE noise to elegant trip-hop electronics, the whole sound being sustained by a revolving industrial feeling. Thus, from the very beginning of the record expectations are raised with the aid of an original manner of composition, which distinguishes the author from the rest. It’s a doom-metal breathing track reloaded in terms of technical procedure, by means of sublime electronica. Bearing this in mind it’s not difficult to mentally reinterpret this track in the form of a classical sonata.

The machinery supervised by Daniel Fox produces even stranger replicas of the author’s imagination on “Cruciation”. The song departs on heavy basses and unexpectedly turns into a cheerful combination of industrial pounds and kraft-space-rock ambiance. The highly digitalized vocals operate an irritating effect of severe poetry.

The musician has a critical view upon society and likely reviews some of its faults from an artistic distance. Unarguably, he is subject to the same deficiencies originated from a poor self-esteem, as the third track suggests. The consequences are depicted realistically on this track, “Drunk and Delusional”, a monotonous mind-scanning in the vein of lifeless tracks by Propergol. Tonality is sublimely reshaped from the noisy rhythmic previous tracks to a melodious, beautifully crafted ambient song called “Session 01”. It will surely call upon the soul memories from Vinterriket or even My Dying Bride (For My Fallen Angel) due to a cathartic energy dispersed in its falling part.

Drum’n’noise, disco digital music or distorted beats are ingredients that generally turn music into an emotionless body rave. The American artist has learnt, during his long and painful musicianship, to revive these mechanic sounds and effects by endowing these amorphic ambiances with an innermost, highly charged passion. Take the “Instrumental” track; vocals, digital distortion, clicks, noises and beats…but what a strange glamour invades these seemingly lifeless sounds! The same goes for “Waiting For An Answer”, a track that overcomes the apparent bareness and monotony, with a deep psychological sound effect.

The power of suggestion through music sometimes works even better than a tactile reproduction of a disastrous event. This is the case with “Watching You Crumble” that starts with noise-walls increasing in ferocity and then slowly calming down and gaining a second position as a background. On this noise-built structure a delicate electronic elegy takes place, used to portray by almost imperceptible beeping brushes an all too human figure tainted by paleness and disconsolation.

This dramatically meditative tonality hovers again on the next track, where a neoclassical melodic line is accompanied by prolix and refined noise effects. “The Girl With The Plastic Face” gains in consistency and rhythm, while still maintaining the same mournful melody that remotely reminds me of Sopor Aeternus’s “Resume”. ndeed, perhaps here more than ever, the artist proves his ability of playing with an impressive range of sounds and of arranging them with great skill in a picture of authentic mastery. Just ponder on the final track, “Memory”, and be impressed once again by the art of collage that Daniel Fox has greatly mastered: sound effects originating from definitely incongruent sources are combined and juxtaposed with great care and solicitude for a very emotive sort of music.

Daniel Fox has the formation of a classical composer (and I would consider here the baroque period with Albinoni or Handel as more resembling to his musical approach) that has switched the orchestra and musical instruments with hardware and corresponding software. “I Am But The Sum Of My Conditions”, beyond its cynical metaphoric cliché, is intended to be the sum of the artist’s musical elements that he accumulated and endowed with his personal emotions, a sum of unconditional beauty.

Loss ‎– I Am But The Sum Of My Conditions
CD, 2013
Ant-Zen, ACT283

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