Gargle – Glow In The Gloom


Track List

1 - Presage
2 - Looming
3 - Meditation
4 - The Bleak Sky That Shimmers
5 - A Spoon
6 - Turns to Snow
7 - Seed
8 - Glitter
9 - Phenomenon #1

Gargle - Glow In The Gloom

"Glow in the Gloom" is the production of talented Japanese duo Gargle. They offer instrumental music combining mixed emotions as if which is trying to express a gleam of light in the darkness. They create cinematic music using huge range of dynamics based on the sounds of guitar, accordion and piano mixed with the layers of ambient sounds. Their music is commonly categorized as ambient, post-rock, experimental and modern classical music, however, as the lines between each genre have been becoming blurred nowadays, their music is differing from typical music of each category.

The sounds are sometimes cinematic and dynamic, and the sensitive and pathetic melodies are running through the sounds as if looking for literally a glow in the gloom. The sentiments of the songs are enhanced by the emotional sounds of strings coming in the middle of the songs.

The opening track "Presage" is a fine example; It's not just post-rock or ambient. It's not a classical music composition. It might be not correct to see it as a mixture of all three. The track has its own structure and its own beauty. While the album contains diverse aspects of sound, it has a consistent uniformity that will appeal to people’s emotions.

Gargle are Jun Minowa and Satoshi Ikeda. All you hear is performed by Gargle and Kei Sunayama on contrabass and Yoko Ikeda on violins. The label owner of Fluttery Records, Taner Torun tells that the number of people involved in the recording process is small but what Gargle achieves in this album is very remarkable. After the recording sessions, the album is mastered by Chihei Hatakeyama.


A Closer Listen / Richard Allen

A little alliteration is present in the hard “g” sounds of the title and band, but a soft “g” might have been more fitting since Glow in the Gloom is an album of smoother edges. The press release touts “sensitive and pathetic melodies” looking for the light, a lovely description apart from the fact that “pathos-filled” might have been a better term: the same root word without the negative connotations. Glow in the Gloom may be an album of deep emotion, but there’s nothing pathetic about it. It sounds exactly like the season in which it was released, a work that first announces, then fulfills its intentions.

Japan’s Jun Minowa and Satoshi Ikeda form the core of Gargle, and are joined here by Kei Sunayama on contrabass and Yoko Ikeda on violin. Adding these instruments to the guitar, accordion, piano and (occasional) glockenspiel makes Gargle seem like a full band, especially when the post-rock rushes arrive at the end of key songs such as “Presage” and “The Bleak Sky That Shimmers”. The video for “Presage” (seen below) communicates exactly what the band is trying to get across: the struggle to cross from the gloom to the glow. But not every track is a forward march; others contribute context, adding to the richness of the overall production. It’s also nice to see how the closing piece relates to the opener; as an ambient version of “Presage”, “Phenomenon #1″ provides a sense of completion, wrapping the album in a tidy vine.

Glow in the Gloom isn’t just about spring, but about hope. The mood is positive throughout; there’s no doubt that these sprouts are going to get through, that the cotyledons (new vocabulary word!) are going to emerge. Even the most pathos-filled passage – the final five minutes of “Meditation” – seem irrepressible. Ikeda’s violin leads the charge to the light, which explodes in the 8th minute like a sunburst. Goodbye, gloom! Greetings, glow!

Release Date:  April 06, 2012
© Fluttery Records

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