Luminar is a wide, yawning gulf shrouded by mists of uncertainty and self-doubt. It spirals the listener into a kind of free fall, because its intense music challenges the mind on its associated, long-held beliefs. Luminar is rooted in the problems that rise up when one can’t differentiate reality from illusions and fantasies. The drones have to face up to it, and even attempt to accept their own reality.
In life, you encounter a lot of different, troubling experiences that the mind, body and soul must face up to (and try to conquer), but in times of crisis the mind more often than not can seek to actively avoid the days of reality. It’s a genuine struggle, because reality must be accepted in order to grow as a person. The soul cannot progress and advance otherwise.
Illusions surround the music, wrapping translucent arms around the drones. At first, a stuttering, ominous bass oozes into the music, but an almost classical melody comes to wipe it away, bringing some kind of stability and normalcy with it. The cinematic opening shapes the rest of the record. The calm spell is an illusion, and even while calm the music still feels like it’s on the edge and about to implode. Nothing is stable forever, and so it isn’t a surprise when a distorted, gritty drone replaces the golden opening. Slow moving synths gradually burn out and fall away.
Ghostly sighs and sudden bursts of pure energy come into being, and like the afterglow of an epiphany the music opens its eyes to a true state of being. An internal fight grips the music; a powerful locking of the horns. Shrouding the music are cataclysmic drones that violently reverberate and punch the clouds around them, bending them into submission until they resemble a new, acceptable shape. Trapped voices from beyond are stuck in an infinite loop of denial and anxious repetition, as if the uttering and reciting of beloved words could in some way block or restrict the cold light of truth. However difficult the prospect, the mind has to adapt, rewire itself and promote reconciliation. Strange, off-kilter harmonies have been scrawled and scribbled; not rushed, but hastily handwritten on a piece of paper as a way of remembering everything once held dear to the heart as the transformation continues its mental mutation. “Luminar” has three parts and sits at the center of the record. A slick continuity runs throughout the music, but on this track the dehydrated drone is a sickly sight as it spins and turns. As the melody runs, a propulsive beat starts to thump in the background, pouring a wicked streak of energy into the music.
Synths gather pace, and then they drop completely. Everything empties out, and the music resembles a waterfall of notes running over a near-silent canopy. And then the synths slowly begin to surge, pushing the music towards a sweet climax. Truth is viewed differently by every single being. How you choose to interpret it depends on how you perceive the world around you. As you listen, Luminar at once sighs and shocks. EUS will take you away. Let go, let go. (James Catchpole)