Abandoned in Sleep
(2009, SMTG Limited)
RIYL = Jasper Tx, Ben Frost, Tim Hecker
Following up his debut outing last year along with a collaborative release with Jasper Tx earlier this year, Anduin (AKA Jonathan Lee) sounds like he’s has finally achieved something really incredible with Abandoned in Sleep. That’s not to say that his previous output wasn’t good. Anduin seems to be defined at this point by impressive textures and colossal drones. Yet, it has only been with this newest release that I have really been taken aback by and become truly engaged with his work. In terms of 2009 releases, Abandoned in Sleep is most similar to Ben Frost’s By The Throat. On his sophomore release, Anduin has achieved a similar minimalist danger and psychological tension to that of Frost. What is possibly more importantly of note here is, despite the album’s similarities, Abandoned in Sleep's ability to stand so closely and competitively with Frost’s work without losing any of its individual edge or primal energy. The message here is this: if you enjoyed By The Throat in any measure, you’re going to love Abandoned in Sleep. There is a magnificent claustrophobia present on the album that feels muted and heavy, encroaching steadily on the space left in your mind. Heady stuff for headphones and speakers alike, though I would most encouragingly recommend an isolated listen with the nicest set of headphones that you can get your hands on; the textures Anduin has created reward sophisticated headgear. I think that the generous improvement Anduin has made in terms of this record and his last is the diversity and mobility of his compositions. His debut set a standard for textures, but remained relatively stagnant after achieving said textures. On Abandoned in Sleep you can tell that Anduin has taken efforts to make his sounds live and breathe. There is a heart pumping within this record, slowly and assuredly, masking the intents of the beast it supports and its intent on devouring its listener whole. To the extent that being devoured by music can be enjoyable, Abandoned in Sleep is exceptionally gratifying.
Anduin on MySpace