AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Sleep Research Facility / Llyn Y Cwn – Sargo / Posidonia (2023; Cold Spring Records)

There is deep ambient music, and then there is deep ambient music. This split LP from Sleep Research Facility and Llyn Y Cwn falls squarely into the latter category. Exploring oceanic themes, each artist’s contribution consists of dark, oscillating synth tones with enough bassy rumbling to shake your walls.

Sargo is a single 20-minute excursion from Sleep Research Facility, the first in over a decade. This track heads directly to the depths, with aleatoric underwater noises, hissing, and heady drones. These sounds are not the splashing of surf on the shore, but instead the movement of water at and near the bottom of the sea. Some of the elements are voice-like echoes of old radio broadcasts.

Posidonia consists of three tracks from Llyn Y Cwn, totaling about 15 minutes, which are in the same vein but focus more on murky layered synth. Snippets of whalesong accompany these dark, droning soundscapes. Sculpted white noise provides windswept atmospheres that ebb and flow between foreground and background. From time to time there are repetitive mechanical noises, perhaps of underwater machinery or ships.

You’ll want to turn the volume up on this album to appreciate its subtle details. But don’t forget to turn the subwoofer down so that you avoid causing structural damage to nearby buildings.