A few months back I blogged about Jon Porras, of Barn Owl, and his haunting Black Mesa solo side-project. Now the other half of the Barn Owl duo Evan Caminiti is at it with the solo thing, releasing the disorientating Dreamless Sleep.
There are similarities to Porras' work - Dreamless Sleep is once again bleak in places and consistently atmospheric. It's instrumental and an extremely cinematic album, drenched in sunburnt paranoia.
That is where a lot of the comparisons end though. Dreamless Sleep is still an ode to the guitar but there is a significant amount of abstraction here . Caminiti melds his strings into a new alien form, much like label mate Dustin Wong. The layers of analogue synthesiser create the weird, shifting sense of timelessness to which the title alludes. Place some headphones on and turn up the volume and you can't help but feel lost and otherworldly.
Despite the heavy atmosphere the album never overstays its welcome. It harks back to the ambient greats - Jarre and Oldfield - whilst retaining a contemporary edge, a dark vein of distortion. When I was about ten years old I can remember both the sound and the image of Jean Michele Jarre's Oxygène gave me an unease - a tension with the world's changing climate that reflecting the fears of growing up.
I can imagine Caminiti's solo album creating a similar creeping dread. Dreamless Sleep is at once starkly beautiful and terrifying.
Listen to 'Fading Dawn' below on Soundcloud: