Scanner – The Great Crater

[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]

Have you ever heard of Scanner? In spite of a huge discography, Robin Rimbaud, the author of this project, its existence has never crossed with me until now, this auspicious moment of clarity.

Robin Rimbaud is a London-based electronic and multi-media artist. He started back in the eighties with dance-floor music, soundtracks for Derek Jarman, ambient avant-garde music that raised him to the status of international figure. You can find more about his career on the Scaruffi site (http://www.scaruffi.com/vol6/scanner.html).

Now, “The Great Crater” was released by the Italian label Glacial Movements Records, a home to other talented musicians in the electronic-ambient field (Lull, Aidan Baker, Machinefabriek, Rapoon, Netherworld, Northaunt). As the label always chooses its representatives wisely they did no exception with this record.

Of course, with such a background there is no surprise that Robin is in complete command of his instruments (software and synths) and captures any type of audience. A strong sense of rhythm and distinction in phrasing will rest the imagination of anyone who let the album play softly in the room. Robin has an ability to recruit the best of sound nuances to create a visible song, this flair of composition infuses an exhilarating feeling of living and experiencing through music into the listener, the core of a happening, transports him in the middle of what music wishes to describe.

“The Great Crater” is an album inspired by the circles that appeared in Antarctica, connected with the crashing of a meteorite, spotted in 2014. The first half of the album takes us hovering at the surface of the white continent; there are smooth, soft textures (“Exposure”, “Collapse”), reflections of sounds nearly touching the iced-snow (Katabatic Wind, Forming Circuits), each track is another image of this strange apparition on no man’s land.

In the middle of the album we find “The Scar”, a connection between the external and what lies underneath the surface, geologically and musically as well. It shows light on the great composing skills, multi-directional sounds, a fanning of bleak and grey-coloured arpeggios, mounting to a crashing climax. The following tracks belong to a reversed regime, nocturnal and underterrestrial, where things are never shown directly but cloaked, suggestive for their ambiguous nature, unfit for a tridimensional perspective. “Deep Water Channel” is creeping, raptures you inside an obscure labyrinth, “Lakes Under Lakes” presents a crystal-clear lightness that cuts through into a different world, “Strange Circles” takes the modulated phrase form from the first half again and transcribes it unto a more abstract side and “Moving Forwards” closes this journey, a transient, volatile and almost tragic score.

Arguably, “The Great Crater” is a fetching record, flawless and dainty, almost fragile in its approach. It has also another strength, a particular mood that mixes classic electronica with dark-ambient and modern orchestral music.

ScannerThe Great Crater
Glacial Movements Records, GM 030
CD/Digital 2017

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