Andrew Crawshaw is the man behind Seattle’s heavy synth project Meridian Arc. Meridian Arc is the side project of Crawshaw when he’s not making music with SOMAFREE INSTITUTE. What does Meridian Arc sound like? It’s the sound of buzzing synths, heady sci-fi vibes, and total zone out electronic music. It’s not as lingering as Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze, but the spirit of the German Krautrock/Berlin School is alive and well in Crawshaw’s work as Meridian Arc.
I first heard Meridian Arc thru the album Aphantasia. It had all the analog synth bliss I could manage, plus just really well put-together compositions. It made me excited for what would come next. The two-track single Dissolution came out in 2019, and now we have the dark and eerie Timelapse. It’s a record that’s been done for quite some time now. After some distribution plans fell thru Crawshaw decided to put it out himself, in both digital and cassette form. Timelapse is a dense and heady proper follow-up to Aphantasia, as well as showing the progression on Meridian Arc’s sound.
Over nine tracks, Timelapse rolls over you like a slow fog. From the opening swaths of noise on “Pulse” to the mysterious and hypnotic rhythm of “Rotating”, Meridian Arc is on a mission to catapult your psyche into the blackness of space. There’s a real sense of dread in “The Way Home”, a claustrophobic track that feels as if it’s DNA begins with John Carpenter scores and late night horror films of the early 80s. Andrew Crawshaw knows how to capture that vibe perfectly, but never coming across as derivative. We roll right into “Distant Signals” which is reminiscent of Zombi and Steve Moore’s score to The Guest. “Sleep” is a nice reprieve from the heaviness that came before. There’s a real sense of wonder in this track. It’s the sound of discovery.
Elsewhere, “Abyss” has an early 80s vibe with electronic drums and synth strings working together to give us the sound of an early 80s Tangerine Dream score. “The Hall” ends our journey on a haunted note. Monolithic bass notes are accompanied by wavering highs, as if hovering over some great chasm in time and space. It’s the perfect ending to the music journey Meridian Arc have taken us on.
Andrew Crawshaw continues to give us the good stuff. Timelapse is another step forward in the Meridian Arc canon.
7.9 out of 10
Timelapse is available now. Order it here.