The opening, shredded melody that lets us into Different Streams is at once transcendent and slightly disturbing, like a trippy hallucination that lasts a little longer than it should’ve done. It is a threat that never really goes away. A drone warbles and hangs just overhead like a UFO, and it prepares and deepens the onset of a meditative mood that can never truly take hold. Any kind of peaceful interlude disappears as soon as the lower drone arrives; the meditative state is deprived of oxygen, asphyxiated by the darkness it finds itself in.
The towering drones hide a multitude of dark emotions that are only inches away from the surface. EUS, Postdrome & Saåad have concocted a fascinating listen that bleeds with a bleak vision of the future. The drones are cold, black metallic in appearance, and a sleek, silver lining covers up the artificial intelligence and the scuttling nests of wiring that reside just under the hood. It’s an infestation that only roots itself deeper and deeper. The dark red eyes of the drone scan the terrain. There is no resistance in sight. The higher register has been wiped out; you won’t find it here.
Recorded in London, San José, Kuala-Lumpur, Hong Kong, Singapore and Toulouse, Different Streams is truly an international album for the plagued 21st century. In a world ripped apart by conflict and cruelty, the drones have, perhaps unsurprisingly, cooled considerably at the sight of man. Camaraderie has lost all meaning. They are militarized, shady. They retreat into the shell of self preservation, and they look out for number one. The light in “Section 16” is black, and so is the sky overhead. The icy drone slowly encroaches, and with it comes a wispy cry. At this point, the music’s close to birthing a melody, but it’s ultimately suppressed. It brings back memories of Belong’s October Language, and that misty, autumnal apparition of dense sound.
The drones are colossal in size, and while there are quieter, smoother parts, they are largely unsettled. Some, like “Wait”, breathe down the back of your neck. Others seem to hiss and squirm, but you can’t deny the brute force of the drone. These aren’t passive background sounds – they’re immediate, and ready for a close-quarters-battle. With no kind of abrasive texture in sight, you’d have thought the record would be a soothing ride, but the panic-inducing electronics of “Fractus” stutter under the pressure, and this tightens the music. There’s an underlying layer of dread in the drone that you can’t shake off. It’s in the skeleton of the music. Different Streams is a different entity. EUS, Postdrome & Saåad are surely masters of the dark art. (James Catchpole)