Foras, which is “outside” in Latin, continues Siavash Amini’s exploration of consciousness, in which last year’s Tar delved upon the relations between the individual and the collective forms of mind. Foras turns that principle inside-out, focusing on the latent connections of the mind to the expressiveness of spaces marked by horror. Through field recordings from sites which the artist deemed imbued with a “deep sense of darkness”, he’s threaded heavy drones and noise that crack and sway with an equally deep sense of space. Like in Tar, these sounds are thick and surprisingly fluid, molding, like consciousness itself, to whatever place they are contained by.
This album has a distinct focus on textures, blooming from electronic distortion into a haze of a thousand colors that are nevertheless far from comforting. These are the colors that reside at the boundaries of things and places, cast in strange shapes by lighting, growing in spurts and then receding at the very edges of comprehension. Texture and volume, a common relationship in all kinds of drone and noise music, are used by Amini in an expressive fashion; sometimes the senses are overwhelmed, but mostly they are directed at certain emotional states held in a limbo of radiance. It is, however, not a radiance of a humanly divine source, always in the comfort of presence, but the blacklight shine from places of disturbance that reflect the hollowness hiding at the core of the mind. These drones feel like they are constantly incomplete, the relationship between texture and volume a motive not for the physicality of sound but for its psychological indeterminacy, as if experiencing an auditory processing disorder and being unable to grasp the way in which the flows become articulated.
These sounds continually work to estrange attempts to ‘listen fully’, eluding the mind’s ear, driving it to question whether it’s the volume, the ear itself, the speakers or headphones what muddle our capacity to hear; Foras growls and grates upon this questioning, producing an uncertainty in which the extension of the inside towards the outside (the confidence of our common subject-object relation) is set in reverse, our mastery destroyed by a fundamental uneasiness. The stability of drone and noise, usually built by means of an absolute indeterminacy, crumbles down because the indeterminacy becomes relative – these eerie spaces, these strange electronic pulses, do not confirm my place (and mastery) in the world through the conscious act of listening. In their jarring, sometimes even melodic mixtures, these sounds prod the ear towards nothingness, towards disappearance, displacing the act of listening towards doubt, towards the pitch-black obscurity just beyond the crackle of their electronic distortion. Beware: the dream of reason produces monsters. (David Murrieta Flores)