The artist Murcielo takes experimental soundscape crafting to new heights with this project entitled Heart Of The Deep. Just a few moments into the opening and title track and you’re already surrounded by these dark, ambient, thoughtful details. The piece has been built brick by brick, so to speak – every element as you progress offers its own level of relevance or character. It’s as if you’re walking through unknown territory in the dead of the night – it’s quiet, but not really – if you listen carefully, things get louder and louder, and there’s a whole world of life happening in every direction.
As you progress into Iris, the experience feels similar – there’s a distinct thread or aura to the whole project – but the details are notably different now. It’s difficult to tell, on some occasions, whether this is an electronically or organically sourced ambiance. Iris has a slightly tribal feel to it, as if pots and pans are clanging in the distance, as if you’re being watched – a fitting take from it, considering the title. With instrumental music such as this, much of the journey depends on this listener’s own perspective and energy. The titles help direct that journey a little, but for the most part this music is likely to be uniquely different for everyone who hears it.
Squall offers a dash of melody with its subtle back and forth bass-line. The rain starts to fall, more notes of melody appear scattered among this. The volume and intensity rises, but actually, the experience calms you down more and more as this happens. Again, the real world walks hand in hand with that which is computerized or other-worldly. This is a definite highlight for me as it offers both audio escapism and a dash of musical artistry in the same instance. It’s a supremely well produced piece of music and soundscape that completely soaks you in the moment – well worth listening to through effective speakers or headphones. At the end, only the rain remains, and this sound is an incredibly soothing thing to have fill the room.
Bluebird Blackbird is another magical and thoughtful piece of music that redirects the experience quite significantly. Opposing forces intertwine, two separate guitar parts seem at war and at peace all at once – again quite cleverly underlining the differences hinted at in the title. There’s calmness and chaos, intensity and softness. When the beat steps on to the scene a sense of movement starts to take over.
There are less details here, more unity and togetherness. Your thoughts run wild as the spaces are now guided by instrumentation and freely meandering riffs. There’s also a notable level of emotion that has been fused with this performance, so you can hear that – you can feel the soul involved, the thoughtfulness, the humanity of it. As the soundscape grows, the weight increases, things become more chaotic than calm but its cool and energizing to have play for you. It feels quite motivational towards the end, making you want to get up and get things done.
Face Of Mercy furthers the jazz element of the project and contrasts guitars and pianos with more of that electronic delicacy, creating a blissful yet provocative ambiance. Shattered Fangs, Broken Claws follows and suddenly feels huge, heavy and loud, vibrant and colourful. You can really hear the organic musicality here, a live performance would likely mesmerize. The composition is totally unique and this can actually be said about so much of this project. Murcielo has a definite identity that shows throughout his music.
Silent Stars calms things down again, the smokey jazz-cafe at closing time, tiredness and peace overwhelm – as well as an all-important hint of hopefulness. Netzach reintroduces those cinematic details that began the album. The piano is heavy here, up front and personal. A simple progression repeats as the layers of atmospheric flair slowly build. This grows to be one of the most inspiring and beautiful tracks of the collection.
The final track is The Idol presents an idle presence, an intriguing title that again lightly guides your experience and gets each listener thinking in a certain way – as per their own perspective on the topic. The soundscape is spacious and calm, but slightly haunting at the same time. The melody of one synth seems rhythmic but uncertain, the other wanders freely and confidently around you. The details are minimal, the title again deeply connected with the artistry of the experience.
The second time you listen to this album it takes you on a fairly different journey to the first. Murcielo crafts his music as if painting a picture for you. The details are there, the story-lines and the emotion are in plain sight, but you have to pay attention. At the same time, you can let this play around you if pure silence is too loud and you need something to settle the room down a little while you think. An impressively unique project worth exploring for fans of experimental, ambient music or even ASMR to an extent.