Review: Depletion – Cotard Delusion (Invisible City, Jul 17)

If you’re anything like me and are pretty much always fiending for some loud, violent harsh noise, you’d be forgiven for expecting that on Cotard Delusion based on its description: “A continuing descent into the metallic void. Heavy electronic squall. Oppressive machinery. Melancholic currents.” However, Martyn Reid’s solo project Depletion is more concerned with the words “void,” “machinery,” and “melancholic” rather than “metallic,” “heavy squall,” or “oppressive.” The four pieces on his most recent tape slowly spread like spilled oil on a warehouse floor, evolving from modest beginnings into lush, multifaceted soundscapes. Any of the sounds Reid uses might sound cold and artificial on its own, but when they coalesce in this patient, gradual way, something much more organic is achieved. The title track manifests a puddle of hum, draft, and crumble like a mixture of condensation skimmed off surfaces of different industrial appliances, while “Mirror Image” sounds more like it originates in the innards of those devices, with intersecting tendrils of dissected electronic transmissions and other mechanical ephemera. Rounding out the tape is the side-long closer “Trauma,” a delicate yet seething current of menacing drone and crackle that always threatens to tip over into chaos—but instead concludes in a completely unexpected way. Cotard Delusion is a release entirely in gorgeous greyscale, and thus a perfect addition to Invisible City’s established aesthetic.

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