[Reviewed by stark]
If I hadn’t know before, what kind of music Monocube is performing, after seeing the name I’d guess it’s either IDM or industrial. A glance at the cover – still firmly tickling the imagination – raises some gothic connotations. None of the above however: the Ukrainian project produces quite concrete drone / dark ambient.
Andrzej Gładuszewski stands behind Monocube. “Blue Dusk /// Red Dawn” is his second album. The first one was titled “Vibramina Maeroris” and was released in 2010 by the effort of Operator Produkzion. I don’t know it, so it’s hard for me to consider the latest album in the context of the Ukrainian musician’s development. “Blue Dusk /// Red Dawn” indicates, however, that Andrzej knows what our favorite genre is all about. You have to know that in addition to the regular edition of the disc, there’s also the limited edition announced, enriched among others with a 100-page photo album. It promises to be quite impressive.
Four compositions, rather minimalist, sonically and compositionally uncluttered. The second page of the cover shows a black and white photo, catching the moment when the day defies the approaching night with its last ounce of strength, and it’s a matter of seconds until the last rays of the setting sun will hide behind the horizon. In contrast to the picture on the front, this photo captures the character of the “Blue Dusk /// Red Dawn” perfectly. Starting from “Blue Dusk” the music creeps slowly, absorbing light spots and wrapping the environment with infinite blackness. However it isn’t a darkness of a hellish and soulless kind; Andrzej Gładuszewski injects some emotions between the dense, dark matter. In fact, using simple tricks he’s able to create a suitably evocative atmosphere. Dark and oppressive, but not kitschy. No devils and other such low-cost attributes, only urban loneliness, discouragement, perhaps a feeling of being forever lost.
“Blue Dusk” to a certain extent reminds me of a few Parhelion compositions, but without this powerful organic element. Though I notice some spiritual understanding. However, it’s the track called “Red Dawn” that I enjoyed the most. Not necessarily because many things are happening here. A scratched rhythm appears gently, adding dynamic to the composition. Later the rhythmic sequences take a marching form, which in a completely unexpected way tears the subdued atmosphere for a moment, thus characterizing the release.
It’s a good record, promising for the future. Andrzej feels the genre and is on a good track to join the first division of dark ambient.