Sunshine in negative

Stars of the LidThe Ballasted Orchestra

Not so much soaring above canyons as sinking into them, The Ballasted Orchestra is an intoxicating brew of searing daylight and jet-black shadows. The low drones have a tectonic rumble about them, but they’re never abrasive. They fill the room like a thick dry heat, folding the listener into a hypnotic tension. And yet, what business does “tension” have being this soothing? Like a solar eclipse, the effect is natural and inexplicable; the orchestral hiss of buried gas reserves leaking from green hillsides. You spend so long waiting for something to happen, and then it does… sort of. Was that a tuba or an industrial chimney? Was that a guitar or a coin falling into a well? It was only there for a moment, before it gave way to riveting nothingness. Quite possibly Stars of the Lid’s darkest record, The Ballasted Orchestra nonetheless depicts a sumptuous gloom. A dot in time in which sundown is always one minute behind schedule.

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