Kolumbus is an ambient/drone musician from Sydney, Australia. In the fall of last year I reviewed his album Fleeting Hope For False Optimists. ‘Of Every Tragedy Before Our Eyes’ is the project’s latest EP consisting of five short tracks.
‘As We Enter the Nihil’ kind of acts like an intro with these soft ambient swells that weave in and out of each other. I’m not very fond of the tone of the synthesizers, they seemed stale and unrefined as though they were composed on a cheap Casio keyboard. ‘The Silence That Cleanses Your Throat’ contains some minimalistic drumming which could have been a nice touch but I don’t feel like it actually enables the track to progress, it is just this loop of light drumming. Although I was generally unimpressed there were a few moments that were enjoyable such as the fourth track, ‘In Thoughts’ that contains some really nice drones and featured this low sub-bass rumbling texture throughout that really helped the brighter overlapping tones stand out. The title track continues this low end bass with a little bit of grit and distortion which came off as being inauthentic and after a while just became distracting, burying the subtler drones beneath it.
There is often a fine line between minimalistic and boring and Kolumbus crosses that line. It should of course remain basic enough to where it doesn’t clutter or overwhelm the listener with sound while remaining fulfilling for those listening to where they will feel inclined to return to the music. The problem I had with ‘Fleeting Hope For False Optimists’ was the album did not run cohesively enough for me, a lot of the songs lacked enough content for me to remain interested. Whereas, it still retained some semblance of structure and created a mood by utilizing samples; ‘Of Every Tragedy Before Our Eyes’ lacks in doing that and as many problems as there are with this, the major one is the progression or lack of. One of my favorite things about ambient and drone is the idea of listening further, giving repeated listens just to here something different each time, to gain a new experience; drones within drones, small micro sounds that are at first not apparent, overtones and undertones, etc. It is all a part of the fun that should come with the experience of listening to drone but with Kolumbus I have lost touch with those small traits that makes the genre interesting because those aspects are either non-exsistant or far too sparse to pick up on. The tracks don’t really go anywhere and when you finally feel like they do or that something is going to happen it doesn’t.
Where Kolumbus failed with ‘Fleeting Hope For False Optimists’ is to create something interesting or captivating in a minimal way by using the absence of content and the use of samples alongside to create a sense of emotion. The samples that were present in that last release helped the music become more of an emotive experience and although the album didn’t thrill me it filled in a lot of the cracks that made me dislike it but with this release these small factors have been removed making ‘Every Tragedy Before Our Eyes’ feel like a rushed effort and an overall unenjoyable one. There is little that is salvageable; even some of the more patient fans of drone and experimental music are going to have a tough time getting through this one and not feeling bored. This was large step backwards and an overall disappointing release.
Overall rating: 3.8
Favorite Track: –
Released: 04 February 2012
Links: Visit the Bandcamp Page