INSECT ARK 'The Vanishing'
Instrumental psychedelic doom duo Insect Ark have creating uncomfortable sonicscapes that feel both intimate and icy cold since 2011. Nightmarish horror film-like visions, outer space travel, and gritty noir textures – all of this and more have been conjured up in their past records, the much-praised Portal / Well (2015) and Marrow Hymns (2018), but now, something even bigger is coming. Prepare for The Vanishing. "The album’s title refers to a daydream I had of disappearing completely – floating out to sea alone, never to return, or walking off down a road, and never being found. This idea has recurred throughout my life,” says Dana Schechter, NYC-based multi-instrumentist, known for her collaborations with Swans (for whom she is now part of the main touring line-up), Angels Of Light, Gnaw, Zeal & Ardor, Wrekmeister Harmonies or Årabrot, among others, her own projects Bee and Flower and Gifthorse, and also, naturally, for her current main personal vehicle of expression, Insect Ark. As you might have predicted from that emotional setting, The Vanishing is not a work for the faint of heart. Unlike a lot of instrumental music, and even like some of Insect Ark's previous work, it does not really creep on you from the background, and it's so much more than just a piece of ambient music to serve as a companion to other tasks. Though many parts of it veer off into mind-expanding outer realms territories, the interplay between the bass, lap steel guitar, synths and drums is tighter and closer to song format than ever before, and that's essentially what The Vanishing really represents – it is a strong and defiant collection of songs that demand your exclusive attention forcefully, straight from the beginning. In many ways, this record feels like both an arrival and a departure for the duo. Dana is now joined by former SubRosa drummer Andy Patterson and this partnership appears to have completely nailed the true essence of Insect Ark throughout these six songs, despite the recent nature of the pairing.