By Stephanie Stevens-Wade
The electronic one-man band has become some sort of fashionable music project in 2011. When listening to the likes of Washed Out, Zola Jesus and Youth Lagoon’s new material this year I thought that that the lead singer was surrounded by an array of musicians helping to create the complicated addictive sounds – I was wrong. Abolishing the responsibility of fame hungry band members, solo projects are popping up everywhere and are going down a treat. Simply eliminate the idea of the harmonica tied around the neck with a drum brace and ankle cymbals and replace with effects pedals and a laptop.
Thisquietarmy is the experimental guitar-based project of Eric Quach from Montreal, Canada. Playing since 2005 in what I assume would be a damp and dark gig venues, his improvised drone music intertwined with numerous other genres has crowned him a pioneer of experimental music.
Quach’s debut album Unconquered was released in 2008, a short eight-track introduction and an insight into the future of the genre and what this artist was capable of on his own. Three years later and a few Youtube album teasers down the line he’s provided us with a hypnotic, ethereal sonic experimentation, his second album, Resurgence. Out on Denovali Records, this lengthy collection of material loads you into a Looney Tunes-style canon and blasts you into an array of dark genres of post-punk/shoegaze, krautrock/spacerock and black/doom metal.
Quach launches you into a disturbing atmosphere of captivating guitar ambience with dreamy structural elements of echoing synths. It’s dark, melodic, engaging and sweeps you off your feet. ‘Whispers In The Trees’ feels like the smooth psychedelic music is actually whispering to you but then ‘Mechanical Heart’ follows and the sound transforms into what sounds like a Trent Reznor piece with muffled guitars, low key notes and industrial clanging metal sounds.
As the album seems to cleverly blend into one it’s like you’re listening to Quach’s dark, twisted symphony. But suddenly everything comes to a halt for ‘Gone to the Unseen’. It’s a fresh start for the 12 minute ending track featuring Meryem Yildiz on vocals. Then follows the 47-minute bonus CD consisting of very much the same.
It’s not like Mr Quach bought a new Casio keyboard, a few effects pedals and cymbals to add to his guitar and amp and started randomly fiddling with the effects of each instrument. Resurgence is a masterful, eclectic blend of rhythms and sounds spewing out a fresh reconstruction of his idiosyncratic take on music. It’s melancholic, mature and adventurous revealing every element of his distorted drone spectrum.