Misophonia Records is slowly becoming a go to place for all things dark ambient, cerebral drone and immersive electronica. The Chelmsford outfit have already released flawless cassettes by D. Hale, SALTINGS and Kepier Widow, but now they’ve released the long out of print The Hermit by Surya Kris Peters. The Hermit is an album that combines motifs from krautrock, electronica, devotional, psych, ambient and drone to create something that has the feeling of déjà vu, but without that annoying pang of nostalgia.
At times The Hermit feels like a copy of a copy of a copy, given that it was a comp of songs from Peters’ digital only albums, Status Flux and Moonstruck, but it is far more than that. It is a collection of songs that showcased where Peters was from, where he was and, more importantly, where he was going. The standout tracks are the ones where he mixes his musical loves to create something new and exciting. ‘The Legend of Raja Shakuu’ is a prime example. Here Peters takes Eastern drumming, adding ambient tones with droning synths. Imagine Mike Oldfield covering Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande, but using synths instead of vocals, and you’re on the right lines. The album’s closer ‘La Morrina’ feels like the easiest way to explain Peters’ style. Featuring some dextrous finger picking on an acoustic guitar, while a theremin warbles just below it. It’s a very simple, but pretty, song that hides its complexity under a sea of warming tones. As the song progresses the picking pattern gets more complex and intricate until it gently stops, leaving the theremin time to shine before fading out.
‘Too Young, Too Soon’ and ‘Sleepless City’ are extra tracks from the original release. Instead of tapping them on the end, as happens with most reissues, the good folks at Misophonia added them in the middle, giving the album a totally different vibe and feeling. While this doesn’t seem like a massive thing, on the surface, it actually makes the second half of the album more intense and focused. The jump from the predominantly synth heavy ‘Snow Feather’ to the Eastern drone of ‘The Legend of Raja Shakuu’ felt jarring, but the acoustic workout of ‘Too Young, Too Soon’ and ethereal drone of ‘Sleepless City’ really adds pacing to The Hermit that the original version didn’t have.
This is an album you can put on and drift away with. Drift away from society, work, family, an underperforming sporting team and ultimately yourself for 45 mins at a time. If you let it, ‘The Hermit’ will bewitch and seduce you with its Berlin School electronica and modular komische vibes. So why not let it? Close the curtains lock the door and give in to your inner hikikomori.
The Hermit is out now on Misophonia Records.