Zoy Archa – Nodosities
It’s a funny old genre, drone.
Like noise, it’s one of those Ronseal-type styles: you have a fair idea what to expect when you start listening. Again, like noise, it sometimes surprises me just how much of this stuff is out there. I mean, in how many ways can people vary this fairly basic premise?
I keep thinking that once I have, say, 15 or 20 good drone records that’ll be enough but of course it isn’t.
Evidently, like many others, I seem to have an insatiable appetite for what is, essentially, deliberately boring music. And for this reason writing meaningful descriptions and reviews of drone can be tricky, with all suitable adjectives pretty much used ad nauseam.
However, to really say it’s a boring genre is a bit like accusing techno of being repetitive. Drone of course makes a virtue of “boring”. It is, really, ambient music, in Eno’s original usage of the term.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve a lot of time for drone in all it’s myriad permutations, particularly late at night. It’s also great for tenement dwellers as you can blast it pretty loud before annoying your Wee Free Kirk neighbours.
Zoy Archa’s lengthy four track release ‘Nodosities‘, comes in at 42 minutes. I feel ten to fifteen minutes is an excellent length for a drone track, giving you plenty of time to get sucked in, go for a wee day dream, then settle back into the “tune” a good few minutes before it tails out and you can repeat the whole process with the next track.
As for the sounds… It seems a little inappropriate to be overly critical of drone: it tends to be a genre without pretensions or usually much in the way of ambition. It does what it says on the tin. ‘Nodosities‘ has enough layers, deep bits, small distant high noises etc. etc. to be perfectly satisfactory.
In fact it’s more than that. This is a good drone release. I’d pay money for this. I’d stick it on before bed and I’d enjoy it. Indeed, I’m enjoying it right now as I write this. There is nuance here and, importantly, variation, with a nice overall sound, good frequency balance and good production.
However, this is no reinvention of the wheel; it has no unique selling point that recommends it over loads of other drone releases. It’s neither particularly dark, nor harsh; nor is it very deep or claustrophobic (although track three, ‘Furrow‘, does amp up the tension). Everything depends on what you want from drone and how much you like it as a genre, I guess, and whether or not you are content to listen to ‘more of the same’.
I am. And this release is free so if you have any time at all for drone it’s a no-brainer.
Zoy Archa – Nodosities
Zoy Archa – Ridge
Zoy Archa – Wrinkle
Zoy Archa – Furrow
Zoy Archa – Ripple