Agitated Atmosphere: Infinity Window – Artificial Midnight Arbor

As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with no capital and lesser reputations are putting out some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once-obsolete formats, this new bi-monthly column, Agitated Atmosphere, hopes to shed a bit of light and share a bit of information on the up and coming sounds of bands like Infinity Window.

Artificial Midnight

The duo of Taylor Richardson and Daniel Lopatin make the eeriest, darkest, and blackest synth drone to inhabit Planet Earth. Throughout the desolate Artificial Midnight (Arbor), Infinity Window does what the LP’s mission statement confidently claims: creating and dispensing manufactured midnight.

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The album captures the bleakness of being alone in the still of the night; vulnerable to the elements and the whims of the starless evening. The 9-minute “Sheets of Face” is a ghastly specter, sinking its doomed, monotone drone into your neck like vampire fangs as a distant funeral march is slowly dialed deep within a dense haze. Desperate prayers for light will go unheard for the length of “Sheets of Face,” but a glimmering beam awaits those who can make it through to hopeful, though demure “Internal Compass.” Artificial Midnight‘s middle act slowly breaks through the clouds, delivering one twinkling star at a time with its spacial melody and reverberated keystrokes. The album finishes its menacing with “Skull Theft.” The track begins with the same pulsating uncertainty of Zeppelin’s “In the Evening,” fluctuating between hope and doubt before slowly building to hushed static — the muffled sounds of your innards exploding with the weight of too many emotions and not enough valves to let the steam escape.

Artificial Midnight is not for the weak at heart. It takes courage to survive 30-minute runtime, but the prize at the end is worth the fight.

Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist who runs the webzine, Electronic Voice Phenomenon. He writes the Monday News Mash-Up and Thursday edition of Song of the Day for the KEXP Blog.

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