Review: Diurnal Burdens – Cancelled Tangents (Falt, Apr 15)

The A side of Cancelled Tangents, “Cessation,” made it onto the Insubstantial Magnetics mix I posted a week or so ago, and since then I’ve been unable to stop thinking about it. Ross Scott-Buccleuch, who performs with Craig Johnson as Liminal Haze and solo as Diurnal Burdens, makes absence the loudest it’s ever been as he molds blank tape playback, no-input mixing board manipulation, empty Walkmans, and low fidelity field recordings into stretches of beautifully marred ambience. “Cessation” is an intimate odyssey through hisses and clicks, slowly building a singular atmosphere despite its segmented structure. To me, there are few sounds more meditative than the amplified silence of a room, which seems to be what concludes the first side: all slightly tonal hum and distant rumbles, together with the soothing texture of boosted tape hiss creating something truly gorgeous and hypnotic. “Slight Tyranny,” in contrast to the previous half, unfolds its equally contemplative sonic palette in a more restrained, reticent manner, slowly but deliberately progressing through episodes of buzzing feedback loops and dictaphone recordings.

In the words of a beloved TV character, sometimes you need to “make quiet things heard.”