A Beat of Silence

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Following two EPs and a short album intended as soundtracks to obscure films, Markus Acher's Rayon project surfaced on Morr Music with A Beat of Silence in 2016. The album doesn't appear to be connected with a film, but it has a suspenseful, inquisitive, cinematic feel all the same. The nine pieces on this release heavily feature percussion instruments along with harmonium and electronic processing, resulting in something akin to a gamelan drone album. A few selections are more melodic, such as theme-like opener "Kona," but many others drift out, utilizing crashing waves of delay. The compositions often feel like audio mosaics, with smaller notes and sounds adding up to something bigger. While some of it's more delicate and innocent, other moments are dark and creepy, with clanging metallic noises and piercing distortion (as on the enthralling "But for One Minute"). "On the Quiet" is a slow, fragile waltz that is simple and innocent like a music box melody, but sad and ominous, and it has a slightly rusty end. The album ends with the curdling ambient drift of "--Kona," which seems to feature some sort of static crackling or rainfall sound, and manages to sound cold and warm at the same time. Spacy, hypnotic, and surreal, A Beat of Silence is another strange midnight transmission from the ever-intriguing Rayon.

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