July 14, 2024

The Stargazer’s Assistant – “Remoteness Of Light” drifts, dreams and wanders.

HOUSE OF MYTHOLOGY                                26th August, 2016

We live in a narrow plane of light, between the darkness of the ocean’s depths and the darkness of space. David J. Smith’s The Stargazer’s Assistant explore all three domains with the three, side-long tracks here: Altitude, Amphibia and Light.

Altitude has Jah Wobble-esque deep and repeated bass, flutes and “world” percussion – chimes and small drums. It sounds like the classic Wobble Deep Space era. A floating stasis emerges then increases in intensity. Bass-frequency drones of voiceless choral backing maintain a presence and synths underpin too.

Amphibia sees a slow, drifting, dream world. Deep movements underground and tapping jazz percussion rattles. Scrapes on strings and distant wind instruments flutter like moth wings. The track gets intense and heavy quickly (by their own standards….). Middle-eastern horns play intricate noodles atop table beats, drone and synth drone. An accordion pulses and stays and can I hear a camel? a donkey? that breaks it up.

Light closes out the hour-long set with a steady bass guitar pulse and gentle drums guiding Chinese harp and Chinese reed instruments. It floats. Until, midway through, it takes a Can turn as guitar chops and drums lock in.

It’s a dreamy affair, this one. Sounds include percussion, sampled atmospheres, treated guitars, effects, pipes and field recordings. The effect is a floating reverie for the listener, a chance to clear the neural pathways and journey with the band through atmospheres exotic yet familiar.

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