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Shorelights: Bioluminescence

"Bioluminescence is indebted to all the merits of total submersion;
deep drone, glimmering upper reaches, and clattering echoe
paint the canvas over the course of the 40 minute runtime"

Rod Modell and Walter Wasacz join forces as Shorelights once more to deliver a marvel, an opus on deep sea meditations. The acts herein are engrossing artefacts of sensory exclusionism — not deprivation, for the music is divine enough to take over all sense and sensibilities upon listening. Numbness teases at your fingers as the mind drifts away with the current.

Bioluminescence‘ is indebted to all the merits of total submersion; deep drone, glimmering upper reaches, and clattering echoes paint the canvas over the course of the 40 minute runtime. It is a love-letter postcard, imbued with a pining for distant coasts glimmering with the fires of human inhabitation.

The two sides might be considered a merging of approximately 4-6 acts or chapters, but the complete whole is the true joy here rather than the separation of the components. The consideration of this record as anything less, anything more granular, deteriorates the complete statement made by placing them together seamlessly and untitled.

For what it’s worth (which is undoubtedly less than a single solid listening session with the record), Side A appears to sit at a higher state of motion, with scattering distractions from the fogged bassline more common, whilst Side B lulls with a midnight sway, deeply underneath the waves.

There is familiarity enough, despite the escapism, for it to not be truly alien in design. Rather, here is an echoed memory of deep-sea adventure: Blurred chimes and pillars of light are the last view of the gold-studded shore before it disappears amid the ripples of entry, the remaining light playing on the back of the retinas before the pitch darkness.

Of course, the absence of light is essential for bioluminescence. Within minutes the journey has pulled us away from the last rays of the setting sun on the surface. The flow is subtle and the gentle tugs of ambience flow naturally, unforced, to guide through diminishing light. The midnight sea is far from empty, and unseen creatures speak to one another, their voices whirring, warped, to our ears.

It seems as if the deep sea itself has been transcoded to vinyl. Patient tidal motions engulf you in sound. Seabed vistas lit dimly by some preternatural glow resonate with delayed echoes of far-off sources. Ancient currents continue their migrations, with the listener in cargo. Always the sensation is of being dragged deeper, of further submersion.

It’s not unpleasant, being drowned like this. There is a totality of sound that allows you to find space and time to be alone with this music, with memories of cold sand and seawater by night. You can recall the sound of waves, so far away now, from within the blue arteries of Earth.

‘Bioluminescence’ is scheduled for release 14 October 2019 via Astral Industries. Order a copy on Bandcamp.


1. Side A
2. Side B

Discover more about Shorelights and Astral Industries on Inverted Audio.