Boomkat Product Review:
Room40 boss Lawrence English teams up with Xiu Xiu's Jamie Stewart once again for another voyage into ambient music's punishing underworld. It’s their gloomiest slab to date - nightmarish Lynchian drones and seismic, overdriven rumbles that sound like a Thomas Köner and Wolf Eyes soundtrack to Dante's Inferno.
If the gaseous, clouded noise of 'Material Interstices' sounds as if it could be snatched from one of David Lynch's most unsettling dream sequences, we have to assume that's completely intentional. The inspiration for the album came from two of English's recurring dreams, one of which had recently re-emerged. When English chatted to Stewart about it - a labyrinthine subterranean horrorscape of concrete and iron underneath his house - Stewart related to having unusual sleep patterns. So the music emerged from this midnight realm, and illustrates English's Tetsuo-inspired industrial fantasy in grim detail.
Those expecting the beauty and charm of English's lighter material might be in for a shock. This is vantablack level darkness, inspired by 1980s industrial tape music, blurry noise and the darkest of dark ambient records. Think Maurizio Bianchi, Lustmord or The Haxan Cloak, but assembled to trigger near hypnagogic states. There's an intentionality about "Material Interstices" that feels knotted to its nocturnal inspiration - English and Stewart simultaneously invoke nostalgia, dread and wonder, reminding of industrial music's rich legacy but suggesting its future might not be written just yet.