Berlin-based drone artist Yair Etziony begins Ingress with a quivering synth and an immediate sense of grandeur. “Throbbing Coldness” introduces the album’s textural world, more concerned with space than mood. The droning bass tones and analog oscillators evoke a glacial landscape and a vast, oceanic feeling. During the recording process, Etzioni was hospitalized twice and thrust into new cities with new friends. The resulting product reflects this complicated map of emotion: the album’s atmospheric world feels incomprehensible yet sublime.
As with many modern drone composers, Etziony’s music is often associated with decay, but Ingress also sounds vaguely optimistic and expansive. His use of filters and distortion certainly allows for associations with erosion and ruin, but the tonal mood fluctuates enough for ambivalence to sink in. Endless possibilities for regeneration occur once something begins to die out. As Etziony carefully weaves high end synths over low end hums, the soundscape flows over the listener like a Tarkovsky film. The indeterminate emotions allow the opportunity to get lost in the arrangements.
Piercing high range tones occasionally cut through the fabric, while pulsing filters sneak into the amorphous wall of sound, but neither of these components jolt the tracks out of their hazy aura. Except for glimmers of atonal flourishes, Etziony leaves mid-range sound out of the compositions, creating a “faraway nearby” technique that enhances the feeling of grand, open space. The album’s hour-long runtime furthers its immersive spacial arrangements, even if it does slightly overstay its welcome. That said, the extended length solidifies the album’s magnificent impenetrability. Ingress hits like a first breath in a frigid, enormous body of water. (Josh Hughes)