I’ve got to be honest here. In my opinion being hypersensitive and a fan of ambient/electronic is a unique experience. More specifically, listening to lush or varied sounds as heard within these genres under the condition of chromesthesia (or more formally sound-to-color synesthesia) has the power to invoke an array of feelings within me. While I didn’t always have a name to put to my experience, it was always a matter of the connections I could make with my inner thoughts, emotions, and sounds. This is unquestionably an experience that anyone can access because all that is required is an open mind and heart. Music has always had the power to allow us to feel innate happiness, sadness, or clarity down to the imaginative invincibility of oneself or the persistent angst found in the most pessimistic of hearts. In my case those connections are visual, physical and emotional. There are many different channels plugging in at once, connecting with the help of the sometimes unidentifiable wires strung from my senses. It is imperative that I start this review by saying that “Deep Color Noise” is a clear manifestation of what I’m trying to explain. From the self-explanatory title to the visually inspired track listing that includes instrumentals designated “Chromesthesia Storm” and “Pinks&PurplesMakingLove” it’s safe to say that the Marcos Garcia vehicle, Anima Lunaris, can sonically attest to this.
The project begins with the semi-title track “Deep Colors“. A noisy background ambiance and simple melody greets you immediately. I personally enjoy the rising and falling string-like synth pad more than the out of kilter melody that I presume to be tapped along by piano keys. With the ushering of punchy drums into the mix, the offbeat sample or melody becomes more apparent and hard to ignore. I can’t say if it’s purposely done to give that glitch hop effect but it can certainly be done more successfully by pacing wisely and only slightly altering the tempo in relation to the beat. Usually it’s the other way around by arranging offbeat drums to a set melody but it’s the same idea essentially. I love the deep kick and the smooth rhythm is hard not to vibe to especially when the world percussion hops into the driver’s seat towards the end of the track.
“Wut U Need” is essentially a rework of a classic throwback courtesy of The Weeknd. I would like more of the atmosphere surrounding this track and less of the out of wack sample. The drums were simple but good. An enticing melody invites me into “Shining” and gives me Bonobo feels to be honest. I can’t make out what instrument it is though but I’d imagine it is something close to a xylophone but still not quite. There’s an Asian or ethnic influence to it for sure. The impending bongo action only further drives the comparison to the British producer who is known to use elements of African and Asian influence in his music. The similarities are all in my opinion though of course. There are some switch ups that I feel could’ve been kept at bay. I liked the bass hits but I would’ve enjoyed the track more had it been a consistent build up of sounds based around the main melody.
I’m an absolute sucker for atmosphere so you can imagine that “WWWAAAVVVESS” brought the tension for me. It’s definitely one of my favorites to listen to and is very easy for me to keep revisiting. It’s literally perfect for when I’m getting into to the mood/tone of my current stories I’m writing. In fact the only bad thing about it is the fact that it’s the second shortest track on the project after “Color Spirallsssss” by just a mere six seconds. The intro is a pull of low vibrations that make me feel like I’m deep sea diving. The pad is thick and heavy, almost unforgiving. There’s just enough reverb on the crash-like snare to keep you anticipating every moment of this suspenseful tempo and the kick is sly per usual. A faint howl comes in at a little before the halfway mark and transforms into an indifferent melody for the duration of the beat.
“Chromesthesia Storm” opens with a sample and bouncing kick before it quickly swarms into a fuzzy low synth I detect as a saw maybe. I love the subtle electro kick and cosmic stutters that give me glitch vibes. Oddly enough it is the calm before the storm for my chromesthesia as the low synth buzzes along unsteadily, creating orange waves and static white pulses. “Color Spirallsssss” is another track featuring a vocal sample from The Weeknd but over a wailing siren. I’m not a fan of the weird erratic “wub wub” sound throughout the instrumental but I do love drums that would go well on a dance inspired track in my opinion. “Angels” is led by a dreamy Clams Casino-esque sample that could use a more clean loop of itself. The drums are offbeat maybe because of this or it could be a stylistic choice but either way a more defined loop is practical as far as production goes. The drowning bass is very effective for the atmosphere but making it a little less prominent in the mix could go a long way. I really like the drums on the second half and the reversed sample is a nice touch.
“The Ride” is the last rework of a Weeknd song we get and it’s the weakest beat of the set for me. The high pitched vocals of Abel drowning in an awkward side-chain effect over and over is incredibly migraine inducing. However, the noisy effect used at the end could probably be more effectively used on another track in the future. “Leeeeaaaan Houuuuse” is characterized by a vibrating synth drone and deep lingering atmospheric sounds just under the surface. An instantly recognizable Weeknd sample comes filtering in with so much flanger it seems like he’s drowning.While I do like the drums on the second half I have to admit that overall I would enjoy the track more without any drums at all. Honestly without the drums and the vocal sample it’s an instrumental I’d more than likely use for a short film.
The final track begins with a pleasant piano arpeggio and a nice atmosphere that really leaves me feeling as if “Pinks&PurplesMakingLove” is truly the track with the most untapped potential on the project. It has very chill drums that set in effortlessly save for a tom drum that is a bit unsettling. Perhaps placing it lower in the mix could remedy the situation. Then there’s the matter of needing some EQ. I listen with studio headphones and good quality earphones so the hearing the low noise was inevitable but it is a quick fix. My main issue is that the piano loop seems without direction which in turn makes the track feel the same at times. I would’ve liked to see some variation in the composition and maybe less of the drums. In reality I think ending this project with just the ambiance surrounding a piano piece could be much more rewarding. Sometimes less is more and there are definitely moments on this project that display that notion.
Anima Lunaris’s “Deep Color Noise” is a minimalist daydream aspiring to be more. There are so many interesting textures in their infancy just waiting to be expanded upon and explored. At times I find myself confronted with an atmosphere that gives me such a feeling. A feeling that instinctively has me reaching out in order to grasp it. I want to know more about these sounds. I want to see the story behind each tone or note. I am ready to take that journey with Anima Lunaris. Sometimes you have to go back to go forward. I would like to see an even more minimal project (even if it’s just a little three track surprise) with focus on the things I have mentioned throughout the review. I would like to see a more concrete direction and application of technique. The subtlety and sense of awareness is there which is a great foundation to stand on. A little more fine tuning with sampling and I’m completely sold. The mixing is great and I’m enticed by the use of deep emotive percussion so it’s pretty obvious that I’m fully fascinated with the idea of a follow up project. Maybe even a “Deep Color Noise II” to be honest. Or even better, wanna come score my future films?
By Dij Ri’chard
Check out Anima Lunaris’s music here: https://soundcloud.com/animalunaris/sets/deep-color-noise
Hit him up on his Tumblr: https://animalunaris.tumblr.com/
Hit me up if you want me to review you: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/abrighteyedbandit