Secret Pyramid’s music is a ghostly echo. Phantom shapes and an array of silky, diluted watercolors can be found inside, but they’re faint and always indistinct. Its period is always in question, too, because it floats just out of time, sailing on by like a ship without an anchor.
Distant Works II opens with a series of intermittent, electronically cold beeps that soon disappear, and a lonely, ponderous melody is left behind. This thin trace of a melody sets the scene, and the sense of detachment gradually deepens as the music continues, even threatening to sink it, turning the mystical music into emotional music; a poignantly sad mood that just about sidesteps the downtrodden.
A shy melody chooses to remain behind, shrouded in a veil of mystery like a mask of Mayan origin, the dulled tone clouding the water in an otherwise glowing, translucent sea. More often than not, the melodies are alone, giving rise to eternal, spacious lagoons of sound and pools of pensive thought. The dragging melody of “IV” picks up the grit of the seabed as it travels onwards, its dynamic rise like that of a submarine pushing back the water. The voyage is a longer one at eight minutes, the looping melody swirling around and imprinting itself on the music like an off-color bruise tattooed on the skin. “V” is a cloudy apparition that whistles ominously on the wind, the music darkening until it can barely be seen (or heard, even). It is disintegrating – not just tonally, but mentally. Imaginative interludes pass through the music, but they’re more than that, acting like half-remembered vignettes from a past life.
Its predecessor was imbued with a strange, ancient mysticism, and there are tonal similarities here. It is by no means a mirror image, though. As the years have passed, the sound has matured and aged. It is more reserved, its tone dimming like an evening sunset. You can hear it creasing as the crackles bleed into the silence. And then, everything disappears. (James Catchpole)