home diaries 029

Home Diaries 029 on The Progressive Aspect

I’d never heard of the whitelabrecs label until their Home Diaries series this year, and it’s a series well worth checking out (though it will take you some time to work through all the albums which comprise it). I can’t claim to enjoy every release in the Home Diaries series, but there are some which are particularly outstanding. One such was Pie Are Squared’s contribution (number 013 in the series), and this, by UK duo Darkroom, is another. In a way, this album seems almost the antithesis of Pie Are Squared’s release. Where 013 gave a feeling of comfort and security, 029 screams discomfort and insecurity. My 11 year old walked into the room while I was listening to opening number, Arrokoth, and asked if I was listening to the soundtrack to a horror film. And she’s right, because that track especially would definitely provide a perfect horror soundtrack, as it can be particularly unsettling. I’d be lying if I didn’t say the sound effects towards the end of this piece haven’t made my jump on at least a couple of occasions.

The second part of the album, The Uncut Stones of Night, is less creepy and scary, but still full of chills. Darkroom have a wonderful way of keeping a listener on edge and in suspense – which is no doubt useful when creating long form pieces such as these. Then again, at around only 40 minutes, Home Diaries 029 is dwarfed by the almost three and a half release that Darkroom released last year! One thing I absolutely adore about Darkroom is the use of clarinets (contra bass and bass on last year’s The Noise Is Unrest, and bass clarinet on Home Diaries 029). I love hearing the bass clarinet in music, but I’ve never heard it quite like this before. And it works. It really, really works!

Nick Hudson, The Progressive Aspect
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