Derek Rogers comes out of a surprisingly strong drone scene in Austin, Texas. Over the course of this extremely cryptic album, he makes illusions to classical music, metal, and feedback. It is a strange collection of influences, which are treated in uneven doses.
The first track on here is amazing. “Cosmic Overlap” takes a classical sample. Seems simple enough, but the dynamic part comes from how the sample is sculpted into noise and somehow reforms into a new kind of classical noise, with an intense buildup. It is romantic, disorienting and makes me eager to hear more of Derek’s work.
Some of the other tracks don’t have this same grace or poise. Instead, tracks like “An Unexpected Glow” sound like a sort of lazy attempt to capture the Zen of Earth’s track “Phase 3”. After that comes “Guitar Bloom” which appears to be a faceless, personality-less drone.
Right as we reach the end we return back to better quality productions. “Over the Ether” comes across as the most traditional drone song on here. “Reich Phrases” might be the second best song on here, after the beginning. Derek has an intense focus for this track which is surprisingly fruitful.
Overall, I feel Derek is a good musician but a poor editor. A lot of these ideas don’t go anywhere, especially in the beginning after the great “Cosmic Overlap” introduction. I’d imagine a lot of people would tune out before “An Unexpected Glow” even finished. Had Derek perhaps removed that track and the following one, or reduced the length of a lot of these songs, it would have a stronger impact.
I’d say definitely listen to it for the first and last tracks; otherwise it tends to meander a bit too much, even by drone’s tolerant standards.