Surachai Once Again Plunges the World in Darkness

Publicity photo via Bandcamp

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.

Come, Deathless

BL_K Noise

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.





On Point and Click Adventure Games with Creator Joel Staaf Hästö

Point and click adventure games, says Kathy Rain and Whispers of a Machine creator Joel Staaf Hästö, hit a "sweet spot" between puzzles that exercise logical thinking and stories that stimulate emotions.


Alps 2 and Harry No Release Eclectic Single "Madness at Toni's Chip Shop in Wishaw" (premiere)

Alps 2 and Harry NoSong's "Madness at Toni's Chip Shop in Wishaw" is a dizzying mix of mangled 2-step rhythms and woozy tranquil electronics.


Kathleen Grace and Larry Goldings Team for Wonderfully Sparse "Where Or When" (premiere)

Kathleen Grace and Larry Goldings' "Where Or When" is a wonderfully understated performance that walks the line between pop and jazz.


The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 1, Gang of Four to the Birthday Party

If we must #quarantine, at least give us some post-punk. This week we are revisiting the best post-punk albums of all-time and we kick things off with Gang of Four, Public Image Ltd., Throbbing Gristle, and more.


Alison Chesley Toils in Human and Musical Connectivity on Helen Money's 'Atomic'

Chicago-based cellist, Alison Chesley (a.k.a. Helen Money) creates an utterly riveting listen from beginning to end on Atomic.


That Kid's 'Crush' Is a Glittering Crossroads for E-Boy Music

That Kid's Crush stands out for its immediacy as a collection of light-hearted party music, but the project struggles with facelessness.


Percival Everett's ​​​'Telephone​​​' Offers a Timely Lesson

Telephone provides a case study of a family dynamic shaken by illness, what can be controlled, and what must be accepted.


Dream Pop's Ellis Wants to be 'Born Again'

Ellis' unhappiness serves as armor to protect her from despair on Born Again. It's better to be dejected than psychotic.


Counterbalance No. 10: 'Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols'

The Spirit of ’77 abounds as Sex Pistols round out the Top Ten on the Big List. Counterbalance take a cheap holiday in other people’s misery. Right. Now.


'Thor: Ragnorak' Destroys and Discards the Thor Mythos

Taika Waititi's Thor: Ragnarok takes a refreshingly iconoclastic approach to Thor, throwing out the old, bringing in the new, and packaging the story in a colourful, gorgeously trashy aesthetic that perfectly captures the spirit of the comics.


Run the Jewels - "Ooh LA LA" (Singles Going Steady)

Run the Jewels' "Ooh LA LA" may hit with old-school hip-hop swagger, but it also frustratingly affirms misogynistic bro-culture.


New Translation of Balzac's 'Lost Illusions' Captivates

More than just a tale of one man's fall, Balzac's Lost Illusions charts how literature becomes another commodity in a system that demands backroom deals, moral compromise, and connections.


Protomartyr - "Processed by the Boys" (Singles Going Steady)

Protomartyr's "Processed By the Boys" is a gripping spin on reality as we know it, and here, the revolution is being televised.


Go-Go's Bassist Kathy Valentine Is on the "Write" Track After a Rock-Hard Life

The '80s were a wild and crazy time also filled with troubles, heartbreak and disappointment for Go-Go's bass player-guitarist Kathy Valentine, who covers many of those moments in her intriguing dual project that she discusses in this freewheeling interview.


New Brain Trajectory: An Interview With Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree

Two guitarists, Lee Ranaldo and Raül Refree make an album largely absent of guitar playing and enter into a bold new phase of their careers. "We want to take this wherever we can and be free of genre restraints," says Lee Ranaldo.


'Trans Power' Is a Celebration of Radical Power and Beauty

Juno Roche's Trans Power discusses trans identity not as a passageway between one of two linear destinations, but as a destination of its own.


Yves Tumor Soars With 'Heaven to a Tortured Mind'

On Heaven to a Tortured Mind, Yves Tumor relishes his shift to microphone caressing rock star. Here he steps out of his sonic chrysalis, dons some shiny black wings and soars.


Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras' tētēma Don't Hit the Mark on 'Necroscape'

tētēma's Necroscape has some highlights and some interesting ambiance, but ultimately it's a catalog of misses for Mike Patton and Anthony Pateras.


M. Ward Offers Comforting Escapism on 'Migration Stories'

Although M. Ward didn't plan the songs on Migration Stories for this pandemic, they're still capable of acting as a balm in these dark hours.


Parsonsfield Add Indie Pop to Their Folk on 'Happy Hour on the Floor'

Happy Hour on the Floor is a considerable departure from Parsonsfield's acclaimed rustic folk sound signaling their indie-pop orientation. Parsonsfield remind their audience to bestow gratitude and practice happiness: a truly welcomed exaltation.

Collapse Expand Reviews
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.