When Paul Alty released Skyline, there was something immediately appealing and fascinating about the way he built the experience around his audience, the way he created this vast and provocative arena of thoughts and moments. It was unlike anything else around at the time, and it was intentional, meaningful, and powerful. To then dig deep into his entire catalogue, and now to realise how quickly the artist can produce new audio journeys and projects of the same incredibly complex and mind-blowing nature, adds a whole other level of impressive artistry to his name.
It’s utterly refreshing to know that there are producers, composers and creatives out there, taking the time and focusing intently on crafting audio experiences that can affect a listener in such a profound way. If you’re new to his work, or aren’t quite sure where to begin – Behind The Clock 3: End of Time makes for the perfect choice. Just make sure to turn up the volume for the full effect.
To reference just a few highlights from the new project – Time Is Ticking alone is a stunning piece of music that far transcends the predictable realms of music production. The journey it takes you on is mighty, yet perhaps somewhat unique to each individual listener. The final moments evolve into this chaotic breath of fast-paced energy and volume that really forces those conjured up ideas to cascade and envelop you.
Then there’s the subtly intense rising weight of Stories Of A Broken Sky – the ideas begin to connect, the images begin to multiply and strengthen. Time is passing whether you want it to or not – it’s out of your hands, and everything is happening whether you move or wake up or speak or not. This album drives that concept home, in my opinion. Delicacy and beauty meet with industrial hits of power and darkness – softness meets with grit, whispers meet with screams. Meanwhile you slide further and further into the abyss that is infinity or the unknown – wondering what the end of time would really feel like.
More than just compositions, these are stories – each piece is made up of moments, a series of details, effects, sounds; instances of space and speech as much as those of rhythm and movement. The Navigator takes you out into the depths of the universe as a throbbing synth picks up the pace of your heart – contrasting powerfully with the quiet wash of string-like synths in the distance. Then it builds, and it’s beautiful, and the mind wanders far.
Interlude is undoubtedly something of a breath-taking musical highlight for its optimism and the sheer colour and engaging nature of its progression. It feels like a moment of potential brightness amidst an ocean of dark.
End Of Time is a deeply unsettling and impossible to ignore nine-minute journey, which completely takes over the room with a subtle but captivating sense of evolution. Alty’s attention to detail is second to none, producing a world-class cinematic adventure and quality that’s in a realm of its own entirely.
Moments like Fractured Nature (Excerpt) add a shorter hit of rhythm and distortion, this being a chaotic and juxtaposed piece that meanders between the sounds of the natural world and those of an electronic and disjointed origin. A majestic and quite phenomenal composition that’s easily worth experiencing more than a few times in a row.
Eve Always Wanted To Be An Astronaut adds a comforting wash of optimism, creating a familiar, end of the movie sense of accomplishment – before reverting back into the crackle and quiet of darkness. Then when everything’s coming to a close, End Titles pulls you right back into the depths of this world or timeless existence that Paul Alty has created, and you’re reminded how complex and vast the whole idea is – and how skillful and professionally intricate the musical aspects really are.
There are seventeen tracks to this album in total. Each one offering something completely different to the last, yet each building further on an inherent concept that has clearly absorbed Paul Alty throughout the creative process. It makes for a magical listening experience that will change your entire outlook if you let it. It’s like a series of films, but your mind creates the visuals in response to the audio stimuli. Listen loud and spend the time with the playlist, see where it takes you. You won’t regret it.