Updated: Jun 17
The latest album from Glaswegian producer Ty Lumnus (a.k.a. Fraser Rowan) is a masterfully paced and darkly-toned release that spans a broad range between dancefloor-influenced tech and cinematic ambient. Throughout the runtime, Ty Lumnus takes a great deal of effort to include a variety of textures and sounds, integrating them seamlessly into spacious compositions. Furthermore, the variety in tracks across the entire album is intriguing, captivating, and takes us through what feels like an oscillating journey downwards.
If you were to only listen to the first two tracks, you may get the false impression that this is just some kind of dark tech with some vague dancefloor sensibilities. And surely there is a bit of that in there with the first track, "Moving Towards a Special Place," which starts with odd synths that play a thick spacey lead that is later joined by a simple three or four-note bass and a four-on-the-floor kick. However, by track three entitled "There's a Gateway to Another Universe at the Back of That Cave," this dance-ish aesthetic begins to fade and give way to something darker and more cinematic. This shift is further solidified on "It Doesn't End Well" with atmospheric strings and pads accompanying long-attack/long-release synth magic.
From here onwards, the dancefloor influence is much more sparse and harder to find. Instead, we are treating to more odd and sometimes relaxed beats such as on the title track "What If They Trigger a Memory?" The rhythm here dispenses with the four beats kick and gives us the track breathing room to allows for much stranger and glitchier synths than what has been heard previously. This return to rhythm is short-lived as it is followed by "The Best Version of You," a slower and somewhat wistful sounding track that takes into the second half of the album.
For the second half of the album, it is as though the tracks cannot decide if they have a rhythm section or not. "Infinite Consumption Will Ruin Us" provides us with a beat, although it bears little resemblance to any that came before, instead giving us something much more subdued and almost indiscernible from the synths at times. The tracks that follow this make it even more ambiguous with what might be hi-hats in the background or just a pure absence of anything percussive.
What Fraser has created here is a brilliant concept album with a bizarrely fuzzy concept. The world of memory is often fuzzy though. This album feels as though it is constantly teetering on the edge of actually remembering something. However, whatever it is trying to remember is just a fingertip or two out of reach.
Perfect for late-night rides to the airport.