Music Reviews

Artist: drøne
Title: Mappa Mundi
Format: CD + Download
Label: self-released
The name “Drøne” could hardly be more appropriate, albeit with the added o stroke. This is a thirty-five minute arrangement of mechanical drone noises, electric hums, distant industrial rhythms and work-related electronic found sounds. A mixture of well-used sounds- playgrounds, railways, offices- meshes with less recognisable

Officially the 35 minutes is mapped out into five named sub-sections, but in practice it slowly evolves as different layers arrive, overlap and decay with few sudden shifts, so it’s hard to discuss highlights or weaknesses with any specificity. By halfway through, dark-sounding voices have been added and the mood has shifted a step or two in a sinister direction. A tone like a distant alarm frightened and disorientated my co-worker who didn’t realise it was (technically) music. Shortly afterward this opens up into a slightly brighter section centred around rolling stock and tannoy announcements. This in turn leads to a more discordant arrangement of high-pitched screeches that’s properly uncomfortable. The modem sounds that follow sound almost reassuring by comparison. We wrap nicely with a relatively simple blanket hum.

It’s a slightly muddy production overall, rumbling and bubbling in a way that’s deliberately indistinct and alienating, but the net result is a strangely captivating soundscape that draws you in, willing you to listen more carefully to see if you can hear anything familiar in it. For my personal taste I think it’s just a touch too wilfully hard-edged, with too many tinnitus notes and too much noise, but nevertheless it’s still a strong work.

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