Surachai Once Again Plunges the World in Darkness
In his new record Come, Deathless, the prolific producer Surachai puts forth his ambient vision, blending post-industrial and noise to create a mesmerizing work of dark ambient bliss.
25 January 2019
Surachai Sutthisasanakul is an intriguing music producer and sound designer extraordinaire, who has been traversing the furthest reaches of the extreme music domain. From black metal all the way to dark ambient, Surachai has been producing impressive works of experimentalism, from the electronic-based black metal assault of Embraced to the heavy atmospherics of power electronics featured in Instinct and Memory. Returning now, his new album Come, Deathless sees the producer return to his dark ambient realm and solidifying his electronic ethos.
Surachai's music has always been defined by an earthy, guttural sense, mainly radiating from his trademark use of rhythms. "The Shedding of Useful Skin" introduces this notion, seeing the controlled pace slithering through dark atmospherics and morphing constantly. It is an aspect that awakens a primal sense, and one that is further enhanced in tracks like "An Unfamiliar Reflection Activates a Gate" and "Articulation of a Dead Tongue", where Surachai incorporates a further layer of ritualistic rendition to drench this whole endeavor in pitch black darkness. Similar is the case with the more mysterious pathways investigated by the producer, in the impressive "Splinters and Thvrst", where Surachai performs a majestic tour through an ambient setting resembling a dim and dangerous rainforest.
While Surachai has always firmly stood on the electronic domain, Come, Deathless sees him relying on the rhythmic component much more heavily. This has led the producer towards perfecting not only the organic aspect of his rhythmic backbone but also allowing the tracks to progress in a very natural manner. The movements of "Empress of the Starved Lung" display this characteristic, arriving with an underlying, almost danceable quality. That is not to say that the more harsh and off-kilter elements of Surachai's musical past are not present. The abstract motifs rise to the surface in "Casts of Broken Timelines", seeing an exquisite recital of temporal manipulation taking place, filling the ambient space with pieces of debris falling from a dystopian future.
Still, the organic quality of the synthetic percussion and the laid back perspective that Surachai takes in some of the tracks are complimented very nicely by the synth progressions. "The Shedding of Useful Skin" and "Empress of the Starved Lung" come alive through the use of these subtle synth progressions, while there is also an almost melodic quality that makes an appearance through this dark offering. "Cadence of Sleeplessness" for instance brilliantly implements strings to add more depth to the track and release an unexpected dose of sweetness. However, the more adventurous side of Surachai prevails and sees the synths awakening a more mysterious quality in the monumental "Deciphering Whispers from Wind", which evolves from its atmospheric beginnings to a towering mantra of repetitive force. Similar is the case with "An Abandoned Throne in the Hall of Extinction", which implements a more mesmerizing approach, slowly unfolding and working towards an imposing and overwhelming manifestation.
All these motifs and qualities of Come, Deathless compliment the main core of the record, which lies in the dark ambient dimension. The atmospherics of the album are drenched in the tradition of the genre, and Surachai is highly capable of delivering a result with maximum impact. From combinations of post-industrial notions and noise leanings, as is the case with "Leaning Into Pain", or more straightforward and punishing tracks, in the likes of "An Unfamiliar Reflection Activates a Gate", the record shines in its obsidian armor. By combining these design elements and harnessing his creativity to a maximum effect Surachai has once again been able to deliver a fantastic journey through his experimental mindset.