OLEKRANON is one of the innumerable projects of Dartmouth, Mass. based Ryan Huber, founder of Inam Records, whose also known for drawing on an eclectic mix of styles across his expansive body of work (check out our review his album Repent, released under his project Sujo). His latest album under the Olekranon name, APHELION, shows him taking a brief excursion from his noisier releases, in favor of blending drone, ambient and electronic dance music into twelve somewhat austere but chilled out tracks. It’s not exactly dance music, displaying a cool restraint throughout, instead providing an incredibly satisfying aural injection of hypnotic loops and grimy drone.
The album starts off with “Periview,” which features a soft echoing rhythm ensconced in a gradually rising layer of drone and an understated, hypnotic synth loop. The second track, “Redout,” launches right into a harder, bassier 4/4 beat, creating a juxtaposition between the more ambient and beat driven tracks that remains constant across the rest of the album. One of my favorite tracks is “Aerodine,” which features an irregular and meandering organ-like non-melody, contrasted with a background of seething noise and a trudging bassline. It manages to be both beautiful and unnerving at the same time, an impenetrable sort of abstraction.
Aphelion’s richly textured backgrounds give a full bodied feel to the otherwise stark, repetitive beats and other sonic motifs, all of which creates the impression of being immersed in a single moment dilated into minutes, especially in the tense, 8-minute final track “Eulogist.” All in all the album gives rise to twelve thickly atmospheric and meticulously structured sound environments. Meanwhile, the dynamism between its menacing and soothing elements makes for an album that’s many colored and always interesting. This one seems to be a download only release, which you can get for any price you want over at the Olekranon Bandcamp.