Rubbery chilled synths ala Lifeformed.
Often chiptune focused label Pterodactyl Squad focused on heavy-hitting aggressive anthems for their releases but with Beam’s self-titled new release, this is a slightly different release. Taking atmospheric synths, ambient noises and post-rock guitar wails, this EP is all about creating otherworldly atmospheres.
Across the seven tracks, we have a mixture of calming and deep synths and instruments that create a cold and subtly eerie vibe whilst sounding calming on the surface. Take the vibraphone from the title track for example. It is reminiscent of Silent Hill’s calmer moments in that it feels gentle but is muddied by washed-out cold and metallic synths underneath. ‘Jungle Temple’ is like a glass armonica gently turning in the distance throwing out music shimmers. Airy organs float over the top of it reminding me a little of Philip Glass. It is numbingly soft to sink into. Throughout the whole release, the synths throb a little in your ear too as if it is massaging you like a ghostly binaural beat.
Elsewhere Beam caters more for a post-ambient audience. ‘Dawn Chorus’ is a mixture of field recordings and celestial synths gurgling away like a sunshine ray in space, whilst the opening trio of songs really remind me of the artist Lifeformed. Beam follows a similar rubbery and playful synth setting that wraps you up in a pillowy mesh. The tracks are relaxed and occasionally have some post-rock styled electric guitar serenely gliding over the top of the synths. The genre mash-up works really well.
Beam has certainly found a niche of calming synths, field-noise styled recordings and post-ambient guitars that I think will appeal to many. What drew me in for repeated listens was that Beam refuses to place all of this in a New Age environment though. Beam strikes a delicate balance of ambiguity so that each piece could be cathartic, creepy, beautiful or cinematic to different listeners. I think ‘Beam’ will end up being a hidden gem for many chiptune and synth lovers. Repeated listens in different moods is highly recommended.
Recommended track: Beam
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