Certain aspects of Siavash Amini’s compositions are complex and take time to grasp, but as a whole, there’s a striking universal language that’s riveting from the start. A Trail of Laughters is a framework for Amini to explore a series of distressing, recurring dreams. Using systems and tunings outside of the traditional Western 12 tone equal temperament, this sonic world plunges deep into the psychic darkness, yet still finds strands of catharsis piercing through.
In the opening moments of “The Oncome,” the stage is set. High-frequency tones bounce around a sphere, coming from all directions and creating a cacophony the plays the part of the descent into madness. Disorienting the spatial awareness to find solid footing, Amini slowly brings in heavy drones from beneath, reaching rotting fingers toward the spinning organ passages as they fall. The tension is thick, waiting for the clash. Midway through, hell erupts; the whole world shakes. A wall of tactile sound overtakes everything like a flood ravaging the towns along a river once the dam breaks. Every dial is cranked up and Amini balances the weight of it all through precise movements and clear vision. Even when “The Oncome” is at its most harsh, deep in the pit, there’s a beautiful edge to the music.
Amini’s vast array of sonic textures is beguiling. Glassine tones echo in empty space as a haunting lament on “Daniâl My son, Where did you vanish?” Sub-bass rumbles underneath, sometimes barely audible, but the constant thrum always felt. “Kaftâr-Khal” follows and closes the album, its resonant opening an invitation to the maze. Dizzying passages come from all sides, the horror of being simultaneously trapped and lost overwhelming the sense. Electronic rain offers fake sustenance while pastoral, melodic chords rise skyward with the promise of a new day. It’s all a mirage, though, as the sky flares up, bathing the night in a blanket of fire.
Once A Trail of Laughters turns the page and daybreak finally comes, the trail of psychic debris left behind is difficult to overcome. Siavash Amini’s music sticks, becoming a permanent fixture and reminder that even as we push ahead, there’s always a shadow trailing behind. Even among a discography of incredible works, A Trail of Laughters stands out.
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