Here’s Ultramarine from 1/3 Octave Band, less an album – more a small, perfectly formed world as experienced through layers of effect-driven guitars, oscillators and sampled field recordings. Here Bill Wood and Jules Desmond drive the found sounds and coax drones, drips and buzzes as well as electronic bleeps from their guitars. Rhythm-less and with melodies forming inside themselves, like the surge and pulse of a wave, the music of Ultramarine moves through the gently pulverising Each One A Shining Light – perfect horror movie score – to arrive at gentle, wistful moments (Hesperus) via dark nights of the soul (Your Call).
The album centrepiece, and title track, feels like a piece of classical composition – an evil symphony which falls away in its final moments and a ghostly coda suggests (again) the beauty and stateliness inside the horror soundtrack feel.
The Mirror Vendor makes use of tape loops and field recordings, of sampled vocals against gentle Aphex Twin-like treatments before Hesperus (Slight Return) takes all of the murk around Lou Reed’s track The Bells and recasts it as a devastatingly concise squall.
This sort of music is never for everyone. And that’s always what’s best about it.