(Mystery Sea)

Belgian sound artist Jan Robbe works under the Erratic pseudonym to explore the perilously slimy waters where dark ambient and musique concrete meet, places where dozens upon dozens of powerbook/loopstation/synthesizer/exotic instrument owners break all their bones when the music they believe “oh so deeply impacting” clashes against the crude reality of another hundred thousand albums like their own “masterpieces”, the whole resulting in a bunch of meaningless music. But this is not the case: Robbe knows a thing or two about the different perspectives of event placement, applying a serious dose of skilled engineering to his creation. Although not exactly chilling, Erratic’s pieces maintain a firm grip on the listener’s attention; they are mostly well-connected, splendidly detailed cinematic soundscapes. In several moments of the “Til” series, the engrossing crescendo of alarming muffled frequencies introduces a slide show of impressive still lives and unclassifiable energies, underlined by a contrast with rustling noises and pre-recorded environmental sources that light up a candle of hope for the presence of someone in an otherwise distressing desolation. The final track “Okaasan chi” touches the heart gently with faint luminescences and superimposition of insects – of all things – that sound like they’re reciting a supplication.