Sunbane – Crooked Timber: Album Review

Sunbane give us an album rich in quality and production. Another winner from Disintegration State.

Released: 25th September 2020

Label: Disintegration State

Format: Digital

Crooked Timber is new album from Sunbane, marking the 6th release on Disintegration State and the first which sees the artist collaborating with other vocalists; and to excellent effect. The album charts a journey from hope to despair and out the other side, touching on issues and sentiment of our time. The result is a wonderful work of contrast between, at times playful, downtempo glitchiness and tense crescendos to broken drops which hark back to classic and industrial electronica.

The album opens with an air of mystery which gently builds to a warmth, embracing the tender vocals of Saccharyn. However, this warmth is soon over-riden by the sombre tone of the music around it. As the album gradually builds to its ultimate peak, there is a definite sense of darkness first most clearly present in the swaggering dark synth disco number Infinite Origami’ which is well coupled with Codamol-Q.

From here, Crooked Timber charts a bleak descent. Saccharyn’s return on Ishmael, feels like a thematic return which adds to the cohesion of the record, yet the warmth of Vondel Park has entirely been succeeded by a sadness giving way to distortion and clarity of despair.

Following a short post-climactic respite offered in Gabriela’s Howl and Towers, the album is closed with strength in a spoken word collaboration with Mark Shields. The piece manages to confront the fragility of our disposition whilst ultimately offering hope for humanity. The accompaniment is simple with a steadiness of measure that induces a sort of calm as melodies gradually break down around it to give way to silence.

Although abundant with acousmatic and instrumental sound, Crooked Timber works very much in a minimal style, allowing the quality of sounds and production to build and showcase the artists strength in orchestration, melody and rhythm whilst never feeling clouded or excessive. Not only is the subject matter timely, but the offset of hope against a stark background makes this an essential album for the darker months in today’s world.

You can listen to and buy the new Sunbane album via Bandcamp.

Read more from our archives about Disintegration State releases here.

Sunbane: Bandcamp / Facebook

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