Title: Losing Sight LP
Label: Sacred Court
Released: 22nd November 2016
Format: 2×12″ Vinyl & 50 Limited Edition Cassettes
Techno is well known for taking inspiration from cold, harsh environments. The genre complements the ideas of Gothicism and Brutalism perfectly, and none so much as the second album from enigmatic German producer, SNTS. ‘Losing Sight’ follows on from debut album ‘The Rustling of the Leaves’, and a spate of EP releases from SNTS, starting with his ‘Chapter’ series back in 2012 and followed up by ‘Scene’, which were equally as dark and brooding.
The album kicks off with ‘Our Only Hope’, a track which showcases the producer’s knack for creating a dark ambience – it is easy to imagine oneself wandering through barren, crumbling cathedral ruins, mist billowing out of hidden crevices, whilst a malevolent presence lurks just out of sight in the shadows. The sparse, beatless track sets the scene for the rest of the album, putting the listener into a space that isn’t entirely comfortable, creating a sense of foreboding as the album progresses. ‘The Grinding Inside’ feels almost exactly like that, with organ-pulverising synths giving way to a hard-as-nails drum beat and nightmarish loudspeaker stutters, conjuring images of a pitiless martial law ruling the land.
As the album progresses, the listener becomes lost in the mesmerising cacophony of sound which whips around your headspace in a hurricane fashion. The overbearing feedback samples prevent one from being drawn into a false sense of security. Keep on the move, or something is gonna get ya. The slowed-down nature of the percussion in ‘Blindfolded’ screams “autonomy”. The track forges on like some gigantic armoured train, pushing through towering sonic mountains and undulating valleys of throbbing bottom-end, while a choir of fallen angels announces its arrival with their dissonant vocal chorus.
Further on, ‘Daydream’ revisits the martial law theme, as the track plays out as though it were a series of hijacked thoughts – propaganda pumped out into the minds of the masses, totally unaware of the psychological piracy that has befallen them. Again, we are treated to the wonderfully unsettling nature of SNTS’ productions. Closer ‘Beyond Reach’ takes us full circle, right back to where we began, with a beatless ambient vibe, reminiscent of a possessed stereogram, flitting disturbingly between white noise and snippets of unidentifiable vocal chatter.
‘Losing Sight’ is due for general release in November on new imprint Sacred Court and is, in fact, the first release for the label. Reportedly recorded “in a cave in an undisclosed location, in order to achieve the ideal acoustics”, we can certainly say that this has been achieved. The atmosphere the album is, at times, representative of such an environment, and maintains an air of mystery which is reflective of its furtive orchestrator.
A1 Our Only Hope
A2 The Grinding Inside
B1 Limited Perception
B2 Telepathic Thought
C2 Improving Senses
D2 Beyond Reach