The weighty and heavily brooding debut album from Simon Shreeve’s Mønic project finally lands on Downwards following releases for Osiris and Tresor and those killer remixes from Burial and Regis. Grey, expansive and low-lit industrial landscapes are the order of the day here, a huge recommendation if you’re into anything from Joy Division to Pan Sonic, Tropic of Cancer to GAS or the rain-soaked zones stalked by Burial and The Bug’s Flame duo, Logos and Karim Maas.
Arriving at a time when we’ve long reached saturation point with user-friendly environmental/lifestyle Ambient, 'In a Certain Light’ offers an anxious counterpoint for late night immersion carefully framed with a cinematic attention to detail in lighting, texture and space worthy of The Cure’s ‘Faith’, the defining aesthetic of the Blackest Ever Black label and Karl O’Connor’s own industrial frameworks.
The almost impossibly depressed opening vignette 'From Sun to Sun’ ushers us into a morose, brutalist landscape that descends into the slow motion thud of "Where Can I Find You Now?” sounding like a lost Tropic of Cancer instrumental, while 'Field Work' recalls Vainio / Väisänen / Vega’s incredible ‘Endless’ collaboration and 'Solar Enemy’ deploys tense strings and clipped subs to sharp and deadly effect, like Alva Noto taped on old, worn-out VHS.
It’s the more nuanced cuts that stand out most though; 'Reversed Language’ could almost be an Elodie recording made in the middle of nowhere, outside, in the thick of night, while the title track unfurls from a dense GAS-like thicket into an unsettling Lynchian nightscape on a moonless night, with faint neon lights flickering somewhere far in the distance.