Donor Lens - Desire Path
May 6, 2022
A thick soup of music gushes in as qualchan welcomes us with three times. Eerie pads combined with the steady trickling of melody swelling with the beat immediately presents a psychedelic mirage of sound. Those familiar with the artist will be used to that very abrupt fade out after just under a minute. The tracks appear not as finished, standalone pieces but as snapshots that utilise brevity to present fully-formed, rich soundscapes.
A steady beat gives a solid basis for muffled chords and melody, as a similar feeling of heady emotion is communicated. In check in, powerful lead synths push out to somewhere more distant, fading away instantly on the gentle breeze. The throbbing instrumentation moves deep underwater, as the percussion chugs along sounding fuller and more clear.
qualchan commands more feelings of longing with glimmering piano chord echoes on highway. The overdriven guitar screeching softly in the background conjuring images of convertibles speeding down Oregon highways. An indescribable melancholy permeates through this, the longest track on the EP. The chord choice breathes with that vulnerability of post-rock, the unchanging repetition of the beat giving this sadness momentum.
dirt fades in, a pedal note pushing out into a large space. A melody catches the listeners ear, opting for sparse notes at the start of the bar and ending in a trilling riff. But before we get too acquainted, qualchan slowly shepherds us away.
to the water i return rests more in a dissonant plane than the tracks before. Percussion leaks out, caked in heavy reverb. Rolls of notes are lost to the artist’s sludge-y style, yet he still maintains a beautiful crisp sound. It is as if we wade through a body of water in the middle of an untouched skyscraper cafe, the dreamlike atmosphere only allowing us to push through the crystal clear liquid at a snail’s pace.
tell out gifts us our first human voice so far. A solemn voice echoes out as drums and melody move at a funereal pace. The echoing of the voice washes over the instrumentation perfectly. It almost seems a shame to cut off the loops as qualchan does, but in doing so the artist bolsters the experience. These slow jams are experienced in short and sharp succession.
two sips sends out creepy whining and machine-like beeping amidst a heavy air thick with ride cymbals and general eerie rumbling. The 50-second track makes for the most spine-chilling on the album.
hang up sends sedated guitar tones sliding about as an epic piano-led sequence pushes forward. Mellow guitars push out notes that crash into the waves of percussion. Again, within just over a minute, qualchan drops us onto the precipice of a sublime nothingness. The beauty of the is overwhelming, but just before we succumb to the welcoming abyss, the track fades away.
Once again, qualchan is able to present a fully-formed and affecting atmosphere in a matter of seconds on each outing of this summer hits ep. The thick membranous nature of the instrumentation is rich with emotion, as the artist’s love for the sound and feeling that they achieve is clear through the commanding presence of each track.