· By Justin Vitale
Album Review: Rift09 - מַלְאָך
Released: November 12th, 2022
Genre: Barber Beats / Vaporwave / Electronic
Formats: Digital / Cassette
Record Label: Crown Jewel Records (UK)
From start to finish rift 09 delivers a uniquely enveloping atmosphere that is stark, separated, and forlorn. The songs wield a varying repetition which offers the listener new views to the vacant but enchanting landscape they are put in. Progression through the songs is effortless and drives a consistent evolving emotional journey throughout.
The color from this album comes in unexpected ways. It cumulatively builds itself through its muted passages, each repeating phrase adding and morphing to something new. Mentally on the very first playthrough something hooked me about the way this album ebbs and flows. The subtle changes carefully guide and influence the larger picture and it’s hard to point where this change occurs. The fluidness of its feeling leaves me in a trance each time.
I think the real standout aspect of this album that draws me so much into its world is how unassuming and honest it is. The melodies within are deep rooted but without any burden. They simply exist and are effortless to be immersed in. The production of the music is simple, clean, and crisp that there is no resistance to take part in it. There is great depth to each story on this album. Simultaneously innocent and mysterious and so wholesomely inviting.
Exclusive from the Artist:So, this album has a funny story. While I was making this album I got into the occult, specially something called "angelology". I was diving deeper into it when the idea came to my head. I used the Kabbalah as inspiration, especially its 10 sephirot which are said to be ruled by 10 celestial princes. These princes are the angels whose names became each one of the title tracks. Those names were stylized to be written in Hebrew, as well as the title, in the original release that is part of my Bandcamp page, but it was written in Japanese in the Crown Jewel Records release.
Being this my first attempt at making barber beats I didn't know where to start or I wasn't sure how to make something akin to that style, so I asked some other artists to collab, but due to scheduling and other production problems, the album was finally worked by just me. Also, before I was published the original tracks were much different. They were entirely different song, which I didn't want to scrap, but felt that they didn't fit the style I wanted to make. Those first 5 tracks were later used as the 5 tracks that made up the album "Madness".
Instruments & Equipment Used:Sytrus
Spitfire's BBC Symphony Orchestra
Opening track encapsulates a frozen in time world devoid of human presence. Searching for signs, the melody and drums push through increasingly desolate and somber realizations.
Seeming to be a reaction to the emptiness, the internal dialogue is trying to make sense of the loneliness. It cycles with small changes that emphasize the depth of all directions becoming the same melancholic void.
The pulse of the opening and closing filters gives a steady breath to the third track that contrasts with the bright plucks of the lead melody. It battles between acceptance and denial of the bleak world the listener sees in their vantage point.
Coming into the fourth track, acceptance becomes inevitable and loneliness becomes internalized. The album starts to also show its cohesion between songs with effortless transition, bleeding to one another and evolving their emotional charge.
The fifth track breaks this cycle of transitions with its fade it and seems to transpose the first song to a new sonic album idea. Appropriately, the same sense of loneliness and desolation is not present and instead is conveyed with the sense that we’ve already spent time here.
Offering up the album's first glimmer of light in its cloudy world, it fights with the void in an undulating chord pattern that seems to go two steps back for every step forward.
This progression of hope starts to extend out into the seventh track but the evidence of darkness is still present. For the first time it outpaces shadows and adds mystery and promising intrigue.
This theme of inquisition continues on to the eighth track and embodies acceptance and recognition of the vacated realm. Its soft and warm feeling resonates an internal spiritual communication.
The ninth track feels like the first pause and reflection and almost forgetful of fragmentary reality the listener has been hoisted into. The major hints of the melody make it seem like there is a fresh wind coming over the horizon.
Reaching the tenth and final song, the tempo has a noticeable shift upwards. The swelling strings and forward movement of the drums propel at a new pace unfamiliar from the rest of the album. This is an escape from the emptiness, looking out the window as you leave for somewhere new.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Rift091
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/rift09music/
Bandcamp - https://rift09.bandcamp.com/music
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Bandcamp - https://crownjewelrecords.bandcamp.com/