No Solace In Sleep

by Aarktica

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Debut Aarktica release from 2000 on Silber Records.

Think of this CD as the aural score for the aurora borealis, each note a shimmer display of color; the tones as waves of light...Simply captivating.
~ Mass Transfer

Excellent and gently lulling ambient/drone frequencies from Jon DeRosa, who combines guitars and electronics into a distinctly unified sound ala SEEFEEL but minus the beats and vocals. The icy, melodic aural terrain has a soft, introspective feel that conjures images of slowly enveloping fields of snow and trees swaying in a cold wintry wind. Just gorgeous work that’s well recommended. ~ Godsend

In 1998, Jon started this project ‘as an experiment in sound to recreate and convey the tones heard through one deaf ear.’ Originally nothing more than "tape-hiss lullabies lacking structure, composed through a blur of painkillers and insomnia on a 4-track cassette recorder,’ Aarktica graduated to these multi-layered, effects-laden, post-Eno ambient guitar suites in a little less than a year! Imagine a greatest hits mix tape consisting of the best of Windy & Carl, Stars of the Lid, Labradford and early Azusa Plane and you're on the right track. And while De Rosa has said, ‘there's a certain charm to the spontaneity of drone music,’ he was quick to add, ‘I also find that that can take away from its overall credibility.’ This release is his attempt at marrying the two approaches. ‘While recording the album, I actually spent days mapping out many pieces, notating them and treating each piece like I would a string quartet.’ Let's examine the results of that endeavor. A few minutes into the opener, ‘Glacia,’ you may find yourself adjusting the volume to find out whether you've just purchased a blank CD! Whispering waves of sonic molasses drip out of your speakers as De Rosa replicates the ambience of an iceberg floating through the midnight Atlantic: dark, cold and immense. ‘Indie’ has nothing to do with a sub-genre of music and everything to do with pain, although the two are often indistinguishable these days! The far off sound of a beating (ear)drum (his own?) places us squarely in his world of frustration with the inability to clearly ‘hear’ the sounds of civilization around him. This sense of swimming in quicksand coupled with the sonic interpretation of the ‘sounds in his head’ continues through most of the record and is emphasized in titles like ‘You Have Cured A Million Ghosts from Roaming in My Head,’ ‘The Ice (Feels Three Feet Thick Between Us)’ and ‘I Remember Life Above the Surface.’ The seemingly pretentious titles can be overlooked as one is enveloped in the sheer expanse of the sonic sensual overload. The aural equivalent of syrup dripping down a ‘short stack’ is interrupted by the Nick Drake-esque ‘Welcome Home.’ Fittingly, it seems to be a self-directed imperative and is the lone track with a clearly identifiable guitar. DeRosa has escaped from his ‘fantastic voyage’ through his inner ear, but I, for one, was glad to be along for the ride. You will be, too. ~ The Broken Face


released March 1, 2000

Jon DeRosa - guitars, vocals



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Jon DeRosa Los Angeles, California

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