Evan Caminiti: Meridian

The San Fran atmospherist’s electric return – it’ll give you goosebumps…

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When an artist describes a record as ‘electronic’, you can expect synths, beats and maybe a few samples thrown in.

As the layered, rhythmic static of Meridian’s opener Overtaken segues into Curtains, and as menacing crackles and pops drape over deep drones, you might think Evan Caminiti has taken the word at face value. Standing in contrast to his work with Barn Owl and his more organic Dreamless Sleep LP, Meridian bravely prefers to grate rather than soothe, and even boasts occasional fits and spurts of percussion clawing their way to the surface. These may be classic tropes of industrial or musique concrète, but Meridian is actually not a million miles off Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack, with strong melodies and themes that gradually uncoil, revealing themselves only after extended development. There’s more peaceful fare too: the unsettling but gorgeous glitch-ambient of Collapse and pad-heavy Wire. Arc is tense and again crackles with a very literal interpretation of electronic music. To say ‘brooding’ would be to undersell its delicious darkness. It’s a bold step forward by Caminiti and acts as a reminder that ambient music can still be creepy, dynamic and vital.