WORRIEDABOUTSATAN- ‘Crystalline’

Something of a surprise release, this. But the sudden arrival of the sixth Worriedaboutsatan album is not the only revelation. I missed the news that, after almost a decade as a duo, there is now just one Gavin Miller behind the music. The project began as Miller’s alone so we’re not in totally unknown territory here, but the band’s best work has been the product of sonic collaboration. However, if ‘Crystalline’ can be used as any kind of measure, the departure of Thomas Ragsdale has not dramatically upset the formula. There is perhaps less naked dread than before, more misty ambience, but everything feels… right. ‘Open the Door’ is quickly reassuring- a beautiful, slow-building, soft-shimmering thing that feels innately like Worriedaboutsatan. ‘Step Inside’ is seven minutes of near space ambience- dancing synths, sparse industrial clicks and the hiss of steam. While ‘Secretly’ is airy but earthbound, with a bubbling bass riff that, for some reason, makes me think of daisies in spring. Elsewhere there are heartbeat pulses, layers of abstract vocals, and almost-effect-free guitar. I might be assuming too much by saying this is an ideal soundtrack for getting lost in a crowd, walking alone, or driving late at night (there’s even a song called ‘Streetlights on Empty Roads’), but one thing is crystal clear- Worriedaboutsatan continue to produce electronica with heart and soul.

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