♫♪  Curved Light - Airs of Modality

I just got new glasses, and of course my prescription changed, ever so slightly, so that it seems as if my peripheral vision, just the edges of it, is warping just a teensy bit. It’s as if the light making its way through my retina is curving as it passes through my lenses.

Get it?

Of course you do, you’re smart. And to be clear, this isn’t about me or my declining eyesight, it’s about Peter Tran, who once again appears to us as, ahem, “Curved Light,” as if in a dream, drifting through modular synthesizer half-corporeality. Airs of Modality (Unifactor) sounds like clouds billow, pastel and melodic and buoyant and light.

But let’s drop some heavy isotopes in the middle of all this bubbling delight. Airs of Modality is a “live rescoring” of the “Hoichi the Earless” section of Japanese horror anthology Kwaidan, which I haven’t seen because I’m squeamish just thinking about that scene in Beetlejuice where Geena Davis rips off her own face. Let’s just say I’m coming in cold to this one.

If it’s a creeped-out soundtrack of hovering tension that you’re looking for, you’re not really gonna get it with Airs, at least not for a while. That whole pleasant cloud thing is totally true, and I imagine it works as a delightful counterpoint to the visuals. It doesn’t really get “horror-y” until about (maybe just over) halfway through, when “Hidden Ritual, Pt. 2 / Revelation” takes on a more somber tone that continues through the end of the tape. And that tone is a tough one to shake — nightmares for days from Hoichi, and Curved Air, and “The Invocation / Final Encounter”!

But it’s a great ride. My vision distorts with pleasure.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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