[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
Empty spaces have a tendency to bring out the philosopher in all of us, their existence is a wide-angle lens for piddling humans to make sense of their existence through. For many, however, this emptiness is not to be found externally but within. There is a gnawing, inescapable void which seems to engulf everything constantly. We distract ourselves from it by many different means: money, sex, religion, patriotism etc etc but for all the clever stratagems employed when everything grows quiet and the thoughts rise to the surface no amount of temporal excuses will end it.
Viryln, one of the original acts on Xtraplex, have abandoned any attempt to block out or dampen the effects of this condition. Instead, he has chosen not only to embrace it but to become one with it. Casting aside contentment, he takes us out into the wilds of a limitless electronic wasteland, bringing his listeners into direct contact with that gaping maw; it’s what drives the public at large absolutely insane: reflection. It isn’t encouraged in this society of ours to look at ourselves with any degree of honesty, better to just lose one’s self to the tantalizing medusa of skin-deep entertainments; the more trivial the better, anything to stay ‘busy’.
Production is key, the continuation of style over substance; you don’t really need all these things you own but everyone around has them, what are you, an individual!?
These rotted out violins and disquieting bits of piano are exquisitely placed, their discordant nature assures us that this is no ordinary “ambient” release. Haunted recollections amidst faded edifices, minds unable to look away from where short-term vision has led them. The promises of wealth, title and prestige are shown for the hollow lies they are. No one sound takes precedence over another and at times it feels as though he’s composed the aural equivalent of what existence would become were the blinders of consumption taken away.
For those who don’t play the game of greed, ‘Inner Emigration’ is going to be one of the sweetest payoffs you’ll hear this year. He is encouraging those who are willing to come along with him for just a little while. Leave behind the trappings of a world which has become more and more polarized, to the point where even the most benign of statements can be construed as inflammatory; a lifeline in these times of socialized emotion and feigned concern.