February 6, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 36°F


Review: Ambient duo’s musical ability visible in meditative release

"Visibility is a Trap"


With a fragile elegance, the first airy, electronic chord of “Information is Forever” drifts lazily into audibility, its wispy, organ-like tone sailing over a quietly churning sea of white noise. For its fleeting few minutes, the track straddles the line between a funeral hymn and spacey ambience, a testament to the sonic artistry ambient duo Dalhous has produced on its newest release, “Visibility is a Trap.” With a firm grasp of both musical tone and moderation, the collection of tracks provides listeners with an evocative dive into ambience.

Opening with the track “Active Discovering,” an array of rumbling synths welcomes listeners into Dalhous’ dream-like realm of sound. This track, and most others on the album, make impressive use of silence. These moments are punctuated by swirling, hypnotic keys and provide valued time for the listener to ponder each of the tracks’ sounds. What results from this is a musical experience that is distinctly meditative, encouraging listeners to contemplate the music as the album progresses.

However, Dalhous is unafraid to pick up the tempo and does so with impressive ability. “Sight of Hirta” pairs its ambient stylings with an aggressively industrial beat reminiscent of the drum-and-bass genre. Thankfully, this more aggressive addition does not hinder the value of the track as an ambient tune, still boasting a pulsing synth that thrives just beneath the principal noise.

If “Information is Forever” has any weakness, it’s in the realm of accessibility. Each track, while pleasing, does not develop to a significant extent, opting rather to employ subtle changes to the song as it progresses. For some, this may seem repetitive or downright boring, but for fans of the genre, this is standard fare.

Nevertheless, within the realm of the ambient music, Dalhous has delivered a majestic collection of tracks. With excruciating attention to negative space and an evocative tone, “Visibility is a Trap” proves to be nothing short of a splendid musical venture.

Steven Pirani can be reached at spirani1@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @stevenpirani