Merrin Karras – Northwest Passage


Release data:

Merrin Karras – Northwest Passage
LP/DIGITAL DOWNLOAD, A Strangely Isolated Place, 2020

What I got here is the second album of Irish electronic music producer Brendan Gregoriy, also known under the moniker Chymera. As the latter Brendan produced progressive electronic dance music whereas his project Merrin Karras heads firmly into the territory of widescreen synthscape ambient. That sonic approach sees a focus on gentle melodies without drums or percussion nor any samples. Thus “Northwest Passage” (named after the Arctic sea route between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans) delivers a pastel-coloured journey in sound created primarily with Wavetable and FM synthesis along a couple of analogue synths.

The 62-minute/8-track result offers a display of soft glowing, drifting and shiny textural pads along smooth evolving drone tapestries all visualising seascape vistas to compelling dramatic effect. In these glacial-ish spaces things bloom gradually and in a slow pace alongside the more energetic, pulse-driven excursions “Monument”, “Meridian” while a strong cinematic impact surfaces on “Crevasse”. The carefully moulded music grows even more intense on “Drawn, quartered” and the captivating power track “Dominions” rounding out this enthralling, hypnotizing ambient recording. Well done Brendan!





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