Aarktica, No Solace in Sleep

Artist: Aarktica
Title: No Solace in Sleep
Release Date: 2000

Aarktica, no solace in sleep, released 2001 by silber records

1) glacia
2) indie
3) elena
4) you have cured a million ghosts from roaming in my head
5) inebria
6) the ice (feels three feet thick between us)
7) welcome home
8) i remember life above the surface

Aarktica is Jon de Rosa, one of many folks I dig whose instrument is really the studio, the mixing board, and the laptop. I’m pretty sure that he has a strong grounding in classical training; his primary influences are probably Brian Eno and Steve Reich, though his music is very different. His songs are generally – though not always – built out of various looped figures that slowly transform, enter, and drop out, creating a slowly changing counterpoint.

Perhaps it would be fairer to say that my favorite tracks of his are constructed that way.

no solace in sleep, his debut album, is a succession of slow, poignant, guitar-based soundscapes, ranging from desolate to ominous to warm…but all with a sense of melancholy and wistfulness, like remembering a long-lost lover. It’s a great CD for falling asleep to, full of lovely but sad lullabies, of which my favorites are “you have cured…” and “welcome home”, though “inebria” and “i remember life..”. are a bit more abrasive, and serve as an important contrast the gentler tracks on the album.

Though I’m rarely in the right mood to listen to it all the way through, I consider this a great album. Aarktica has a clearly stated goal, to put together a variety of quiet, lovely, ambient compositions, and he realizes it with beauty and subtlety.

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