Published Feb 15, 2017Roly Porter, Emptyset and Paul Jebanasam all have a hand in programming the Subtext Recordings imprint, and their singular vision is one of massive bodies in motion. Deep, rich tones emanate in waves, describing entities both man-made and heavenly; stars, vehicles, instruments and buildings crawl, collide or collapse, with ultimately noisy results. Scottish sound artist Joshua Sabin is the newest individual to fold himself into the Subtext universe, capturing the ghostly screech of Japanese and German subway tunnels and the haunting flux that hides in the ever-present electromagnetic fields of Scotland.
On his debut full-length release, Terminus Drift, he wrangles these pulsating energies, then eviscerates them. Astutely, Sabin asks his audience to peer into a digital mirror, viewing their reflection as a granular representation of humanity, one that is augmented and ornamented. The loneliness of the terminus — whether it's the jumping off point or the destination — is reflected in the manipulated railway screeches that pervade the album. Yet Sabin attempts to prevent his listeners from perceiving this desolation entirely, wrapping them in static and bombarding them with corroded blasts of sound.
Ultimately, one is left disoriented but pleasantly so, as the closing reverberations of the 12-minute "Eki" wash over the listener with a soporific glow. (Subtext)