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Aftertime connects the dots between the legacy of dubstep and seminal jungle labels such as Metalheadz and Full Cycle whilst absorbing aspects of noise, drone and contemporary classical. Haunting angular assaults crafted across the eleven tracks create a logical post script to Porter's roots in Vex'd, the seminal dubstep project launched in 2004, that adopted the tropes of bass production and sonic detailing inherent in sound system culture and translated them into a highly atmospheric dark ambient progression. Aftertime radiates a central narrative tension between themes of nature and technology, the ancient and modern, and the real and synthetic, revealing a compulsive cinematic netherworld, like a communiqué from an earth ravaged by science. The use of instrumentation, in particular the haunting tones of the Ondes Martenot (performed here by Cynthia Millar) reflects Porter's fascination with rare and dying technologies, the Martenot being playable by only a remaining handful of performers. Placing this rare instrument's eerie aesthetics alongside muscular sheets of noise and heavily machined tones, the album maps out a compositional territory that chronicles a dying sonic language whilst ushering in the dawning of the new. At the outer edges of this map, Aftertime stands as a re-imagined present - an apparition of a mythologised past and an unreachable future.
About the Artist
Continuing the re-emergence of Bristol's Subtext label, former Vex'd artist Roly Porter presents his debut solo album Aftertime , which fuses his background in bleeding edge British sound system music with experimental compositional strategies and a forensic attention to detailed sound design. The results explore the terrain of an emerging industrial classical aesthetic, connecting new approaches to digital manipulation and processing with the instrumentation of chamber music in an immersive examination of texture and tonality. Aftertime connects the dots between the legacy of dubstep and seminal jungle labels such as Metalheadz and Full Cycle whilst absorbing aspects of noise, drone and contemporary classical. Haunting angular assaults crafted across the eleven tracks create a logical post script to Porter's roots in Vex'd, the seminal dubstep project launched in 2004, that adopted the tropes of bass production and sonic detailing inherent in sound system culture and translated them into a highly atmospheric dark ambient progression.
Top Customer Reviews
But Porter's sound on 'Aftertime' has an elasticity and freedom from constraints that perhaps Vex'd didn't or couldn't have. The biggest surprise is the use of modern classical compositions, drone and ambient soundscapes, and a very welcome addition to Porter's already rich palette. Porter uses some unusual instruments, such as the Ondes Martenot, an early synth keyboard, and a Dobro, a type of guitar. These, and other instruments, are used to great effect to create Porters unnervingly alien landscapes.
There is a lot of shape-shifting moods in 'Aftertime', it feels more like a film score in the way the music builds tension. And this is the beauty of this record, you never know what's going to happen next, Porter seamlessly mixes some quite harrowing music with tranquil bursts of music such as on the outstanding Hessra and Tleilax. Songs can change into a number of unorthodox sequences, compositions remain fluid in the most uncompromising way possible.
'Aftertime' is rich in layers and textures, with an almost palpable physicality. Porter has managed to create an album of opposites that are so acutely balanced, a brutal yet beautiful, asphyxiating yet comforting album. Within this musical contrast lies the uncompromising brilliance of 'Aftertime', a starkly compelling and richly rewarding album, one of the best of 2011.
Strangely, because of the background of the artist, this album is always related to the dubstep/techno scene. Right now in Amazon if you look at the 'Customers who bought this...' you will probably see Kuedo, Burial, Actress etc, however that is not a good indication of what this album is like if you are trying to decide whether to buy it or not. In my world this list would read: Erik Skodvin, Svarte Greiner, The Haxan Cloak, Anduin, Simon Scott, Ben Frost etc. If I had to pigeon hole it I would say dark ambient or maybe experimental ambient techno.