Dronny Darko’s ritualistic flirtation with the dark arts in Outer Tehom made for a remarkable debut on Cryo Chamber. He envelops the listener with whispers of possessed chants amid blackened field recordings for a harrowing jaunt across a tundra of brooding atmosphere. This set a high water mark for his second effort. Although his latest offering Neuroplasticity does not attain the slow burning embodiment of Outer Tehom, its concept and fluid execution instill a thought provoking experience through the listener’s psyche.
Neuroplasticity is unsettling. Darko submerses listeners in a glass tank and sedates them with narcotics, inducing a coma. Perhaps he is constructing a body with mechanical parts or attempting to resuscitate a synthetic organism. Nebulous yet captivating, Darko mystifies the listener by digging into their subconscious. Synapses fire and currents of electricity lap the corrugated flesh of the brain to feed fleeting signals of life in “Mirror Neurons”. Cryptic chirps echo a rewiring of the cerebrum, scratching sensitive bone inside the skull. It lies dormant, subject to the whim of those unseen. Idle and faint, the heart palpitates in an attempt to recover from the surgical shock on “Plazma Lake”. The system reboots. High-pitched shrieks ring in deafening tone. Maybe the operation completed with success, but the wobbling static at the end of “Ion Voltage” leaves the listener baffled. Left to wallow in the dark, one cannot help but wonder if they ever woke up.
Score: 8.0 / 10.0
Listen to “Plazma Lake” above; purchase Neuroplasticity here.