Review: Veiled ‘Artefacts’

One of the dark, ambient electronic projects of Daniel James Dolby. Six tracks on this release demonstrate his ability to create ethereal atmospheres suitable for movie soundtracks and I presume, for some, relaxation and meditation also. Dolby has already to date proven his capability by composing for various short films including 2016’s Broken, which premiered in London at Frightfest.

Veiled 'Artefacts'

His desire for this album was to create a common theme of loss and a pull towards the past. What he has created is an album that helps promote deep thought and peace in the listener, however, there is also an underlying sense of alarm plus a sinister edge buried in the layers of synths. A curious surname, especially in the world of synths and soundtracks is Dolby. I wouldn’t be surprised if 80s eccentric keyboard wizard Thomas Dolby was his father, although I found nothing to tell me so online.

Having banks of keyboards at hand to improvise is fun and something many with a reasonable amount of imagination and musical ability could create something atmospheric. Nearly ten minutes into the album, I find myself looking for other dimensions more interesting than what has been presented so far. Track three, Flux, brings with it an unease or anxiousness and stays on that track for the entire piece. To me, it is reminiscent of a Day Of The Locusts or Attack Of The Killer Bees type vibe.

a sinister edge buried in the layers of synths…

Track four Somn repeats the earlier themes of which have, quite frankly, become extremely repetitive for me by now. Heliotropic, track five, doesn’t veer very far away from what we have experienced so far and neither does final track Seen. I enjoyed some of this initially, however, it is not enough to capture my attention for a full 49 mins and 47 seconds, and I presume the majority of you listeners will feel exactly the same.

A genre such as ambient or new age seems easy to do, but incorporating themes that are interesting to the ear can be deceptive when transferring the experience to others. Brian Eno, the most famous and celebrated of ambient artists, varied the textures and themes in his work and they had an ability to still make you feel something human in what he created. Unfortunately, Artefacts doesn’t. No heart, just cold, dead atmospheres.

Label: Trepanation Recordings
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp

Scribed by: Tim Keppie