An Atrium Carceri release with a title like Miles to Midnight invokes dark ambient jazz, and the release thereof does not disappoint in this regard. Atrium Carceri is Simon Heath, Cryo Chamber label head, and here he teams with Cities Last Broadcast (Pär Boström) and God Body Disconnect (Bruce Moallem) for an 8-track noir excursion.
Indeed, the first several tracks combine synths, processed sounds, and drones with slow, steady bass and drum beats, as well as an occasional soft piano theme. Far from a dark ambient vibe, these pieces evoke a lonely bar or city street well past midnight. After these, the album progresses toward the abstract, with jagged rhythms and angular pianos, as well as quiet unstructured improvisation, all under the fogginess of soft ambient pulses and waves. The beats return in the final tracks along with tortured, distant vocals.
The overall result is a strange and compelling addition to these artists’ discographies, one that crosses genres without comfortably fitting into any.