Black Light Ascension

[ashes cover]"ashes" (Album, 2011) !DSO Recommended!


Sydney-born Aussie Andrew Trail sensibly relocated to England and began a musical project named Black Light Ascension. Bloody thrilling it is too. Difficult to see how such a shadowy sound could be produced under a blazing antipodean sun. Makes way more sense that this should emerge from the fog of old London town instead.

Encouraging to hear a debut created with intelligence but not pretension, dedication to a world view rather than pander to such transient trivialities like fashion or trends. That Trail comes out of the now defunct 'organic industrial' outfit Knifeladder goes some way to positioning the approach taken with Black Light Ascension. Its equally sombre (though more post-punk) attitude draws on the extremes of basic human conditions like love, sex and death and fuses them with a fascination with the hidden agendas of covert government operations. Combine all of that with the application of minimalist instrumentation that structures seriously alternative (and slow) 'pop' melodies around an ever-present bass guitar, analogue synths and an uncontrollable desire to forge repetitive patterns, and you have the soundtrack to a gloomy netherworld where thin clouds slice through the eye of the moon.

Choice hypnotic cuts include the slow-burn (and perfect scene-setting) opener ocean, the representative your time, the hallucinogenic the dream and epic pagan anthem killing cycle that closes proceedings. An unreservedly welcome addition to the world of smart dark music. 8/10 

Rob Dyer (December 2011)

See also:
(early) Cabaret Voltaire
Joy Division
Throbbing Gristle