Keith Canisius, aka Shortwave Broadcaster, continues his impressive streak of ambient/soundscape album releases with his newest album Sometimes in the Distance. Each album evolves and grows into something more dream-like and organic-sounding, and his latest tows the sonic line between shoegaze new age and interstellar fever dream.
Keith Canisius is no stranger to heady sound collages. His work in Rumskib and Astral TV is well known and admired in the electronic music community. But with Shortwave Broadcaster it seems all bets are off, as Canisius blends heavily-effected guitar, modular synthesizer, Eurorack, and field recordings into an abstract aural painting that opens doors to new sound dimensions.
On Sometimes in the Distance, Shortwave Broadcaster continues to explore cinematic scopes while indulging in William Basinksi Disintegration Tapes vibes and Kevin Shields-like walls of noise. The results are a dizzying mixture of ethereal sound and experimental uplift.
Sometimes in the Distance is comprised of four tracks, coming together for over 30 minutes of hazy bliss. According to Canisius, the album “explores the relation between city life and inner exploration and how it could sound on a cinema soundtrack.” You get that feeling listening to opening track “Are you really awake”, which has the static-y bustle of a busy city street with the wobbly inflections of thoughts passing through one’s mind. A coming together of urban buzz and inner dimensions. Title track “Sometimes in the distance” filters out the static as we free fall into a kind of meditative bliss. There’s a sort of transcendent quality to this piece. There is a sonic connection here between the guitar noise of Kevin Shields and ambient repetition of Basinski, while keeping the ethereal vibes of Brian Eno. It’s all blissful white light and clean chaos.
“Eye contact” reminds me of fellow Danish sound manipulator Jonas Munk. Shortwave Broadcaster travels the same sonic roads that Munk does, especially the one he traveled on last year’s Minimum Resistance. Both Canisius and Munk manipulate guitar through various effects to make something wholly unique. This is a very meditative, zen-like piece of music that you can fall right into. “Sometime on the horizon” bristles with a sort of nervous energy. Prickly noise emanates like electricity arcing from the sky. Another stellar sound excursion, and a solid one to end the journey on.
Once again Shortwave Broadcaster makes a transcendent album of experimental and meditative beauty. Sometimes in the Distance is a record of intellectual connectivity and electronic bliss.
8.0 out of 10
‘Sometimes in the Distance’ is available now. Buy it here.