Now more than ever, drone seems to be taking on a strange sort of popularity in the music world. While the rise of bands like SunnO))) can certainly be linked to this to some capacity, I’d like to think it’s also caused by the power of the internet and the limitless potential for dedicated listeners to seek new sounds. While not entirely a drone project, the ritualistic dark ambient of Degtras will certainly appeal to those looking to get lost in endless space and textured sound. With Hominidae Resonance, the duo examines light and darkness in equal parts, a balancing act made to seem effortless despite the broad scope of the three tracks presented here.
Degtras crafts its sound in a way that sways between threadbare and dense. The album’s main piece, “Earth,” hovers in place with sparser instrumentation than its predecessor, “Ancient Forest.” Spanning the course of twenty-one minutes, the composition becomes increasingly eerie over time, yet never feels excessively layered or claustrophobic. There is a sense that the group is striving to conjure a deeper connection with the listener, the space in which the music is being played, and perhaps nature itself. The cryptic yet illuminating description of the artist seems to guide the imagery of the experience:
A ray ascends the lichened cairn
As it reaches the notched finial
A triangle of painted figures kneel
The embodiment of Mother Earth
Damp red ochre smeared on, skin-stained with
Eyes of an old Augur, weary, cloudy, and grey
Black soot of Cedar smudged on hastily with
Eyes of a berserker, blind, rage-filled, and crimson
White riverbed Clay caked on, sun-dried, and cracking with
Eyes of a Demon, onyx, abysmal, and cold.
They raise their arms in exaltation of the new Dawn
As two shamans prostrate
Spirits entwine with the Sacred fire
The Cosmic egg manifests from the Flames
All intone the timeless Sound
Resonate with this primordial Seed
And Unite with Creation
Dear reader, I won’t pretend to know exactly what this means, but it’s safe to say that these roots run deeper than the surface may make clear. From the sampled voices shifting in and out of clarity to the buzzing drones of “Ancient Forest,” it’s clear that the audience might be best kept slightly in the dark for its own safety. Is this the sound of struggle or cooperation? It’s hard to say. What is quite evident here is that this is evocative and engaging music from a new project. Let’s hope there’s more to come. Stream Hominidae Resonance in full below and check out the Wood and Stone Productions Facebook page for ordering information for this cassette, which will be officially released tomorrow.