Electronica goes a long way with minimalism. Loscil's eleventh record Monument Builders digs into more ambience from the project while still maintaining some urgency and darkness.
Loscil has crafted a lot of soundscapes over his decade-spanning career, and Monument Builders takes them even further. It begins with the barren 'Drained Lake,' the track's sound very much following the theme of the title. It's a empty, expansive track with gentle piano synths sounding above ambience. It's as empty as you'd imagine a drained lake to be - the song makes you feel like you're standing in the crater of a body that once existed.
Atmosphere is the draw of 'Straw Dogs,' as well. Horns croon hauntingly above the urgent ambience, a beat rising as if a fiery star swallows the horizon slowly as it rises. This is perhaps one of the most eventful tracks on the record, attributable to its cinematic and tense vibe. 'Red Tide' is another more energetic track, the bassy synth swelling in contrast to the ethereal synths of the background.
'Anthropocene' combines the elements of both songs together into one brooding experience: the bass synths swell and pound as the ethereal synths create a very abyssal mood. It's creepy and spacial, but provides a lot of interesting imagery and mood to the record. That latter of which is the backbone of the record: title track 'Monument Builders' provides wobbly textures that give the album a bit of energy, while 'Deceiver' provides some gentle and more soothing soundscapes.
Loscil's new record may not be the most challenging nor invigorating, but it certainly does what Loscil does best: create some scenery. Monument Builders channels barren landscapes and full, brooding settings all the same. It's a solid record - nothing groundbreaking, but certainly nothing to scoff at.
Favorite Tracks: Straw Dogs, Anthropocene
Least Favorite Track: Monument Builders
Rating: 70 / 100