The sound of a windswept post-apocalyptic moor straight from Dario Argento's fecund imagination introduces the first track on Graham Bywater's Tremors project. A staccato repetitive bass and drum motif appears from nowhere, underpinning an increasingly distant and echoey guitar figure which leads us to a gentleman describing the Mount Everest of haunted houses. This sets the scene as we're then brought in out of the cold, soaking and shivering, into a dense and almost claustrophobic room full of 80s synth lines and edgy drum patterns.
This is a six track mini album, the music to an imaginary film. I don't think this film is a mainstream hollywood comedy. I think dark deeds are perpetrated in this film. Wraiths rise from the dead, virgins are slain, witches rule the night, and people walk backwards round spooky corners for no apparent reason. The decor is predominantly red and black, and the evil temptress is far more interesting and alluring than the hapless innocents.
Suddenly an acoustic guitar chimes and you think of summer meadows, but the freedom is short-lived as the minor key melody is a wistful autumnal vague remembrance of those happy days of summer, distorted through the perspective of inevitable loss and decline, as the rain starts falling to a final lone residual piano.
Now brooding chords lurk under an ominous keyboard arpeggio, like Tangerine Dream on downers - a harbinger of what, we ask in dread. It's ok - it's only a guitar. A guitar being uncomfortably squeezed and distorted of course, like a nightmare where there's something fascinatingly grotesque glimpsed through cobwebs in a subterranean passage.
The music here is all atmospheres and repeated phrases, swathed in echo. Acoustic guitars and pianos form the basis of Tremors, mixed with doomy keyboards and drums. Surprisingly, the overall effect is not as downbeat or depressing as it might sound, despite the overwhelmingly dark atmosphere. It's what you might expect were Robert Smith ( I am reminded of the Cure's 'Carnage Visors' soundtrack) to team up with Popol Vuh (who did the soundtracks to several Werner Herzog films), maybe; elements of Goth and Ambience mixing to provide a coherent collection of pieces, sometimes light and melancholy, sometimes moody and oppressive.
I can wholly recommend you take a trip into the blood soaked realms of Tremors. But don't go on your own, on a rainy windswept night with a car that's about to break down outside a large overgrown mansion. You have been warned… (Sounds of maniacal laughter fade into the distance…)
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