A Fragile Geography clawed itself out of the debris in what was a difficult period for Rafael Anton Irisarri. He left Seattle for New York, but during the removal process his entire studio, audio archives and possessions were stolen.
Two years in the making, A Fragile Geography is a concise, haunting picture of change and unpredictability made real by a series of undiluted, stark ambient drones. Low, mumbling drones hint at a bleak future for all concerned. Its skin of sorrow crawls with a steep and keenly felt discontent for the state of things, the way that modern-day America sleepwalks, and its uneasy political, societal and cultural issues. On a psychological level, blood is shed; a colorless liquid seeps out of the drones and out of a life amid suburbia’s day-to-day activities. On a personal level, the music’s able to rise up out of the ashes. A Fragile Geography is the silver lining to this particular cloud.
The rumblings can be felt even away from the center of the drone. A nervous, underlying buzz of static stretches at the music until it’s close to tearing. The textures are incredibly thick and muzzy as they trudge along. A quietly colossal imprint is left behind, scarring a nation. “Displacement” starts quietly enough, but you can feel the wind picking up even at an early stage. The branches of sturdy trees begin to quiver and shake, and as the music fades there doesn’t seem to be a real resolution, forcing the listener into a face to face confrontation with a period of negativity and upheaval. Melancholic (and incredibly beautiful) textures swell and slide, unevenly undulating to the prospect of sudden change. Grainy and abrasive, the music gestates in goodbyes and renewals.
The dusty progression of “Empire Systems” is tense, but it’s still able to glow darkly. The light of the music is suffocating, and it can only relay small beams. The track rises up like a wolf on strong legs. The grey sky that hangs above doesn’t want to shift as “Secretly Wishing For Rain” creaks and judders. By the time it fades, the world is only made darker. A Fragile Geography isn’t just music – it’s a lesson. Things are fragile. Life can flip around and spin upside down in the space of a single second. The subsequent reaction can change you as a person, or you can take it as a lesson in life and use it to grow. It’s music full of the power to not only return from the brink, but to triumph over adversity. (James Catchpole)
Release Date – October 23