Chasing Broken Shadows

by Silvercord

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(Pop Matters) Silvercord is the current moniker of Geoff Nostrant, busy making film music in South Korea. I have no idea whether the six tracks collected here are connected to a particular movie or TV series, or whether they're the beginnings of a more abstract, personal project that he's been working on his spare time, but you could certainly see them working wonderfully well as mood backdrops. Indeed, Nostrant's avowed intention is to incite altered states of consciousness ("music is a drug") -- certainly not a new point of view, though rather an off-putting, manipulative one in the context of Nostrant's profession. But then, we do go to the cinema in the express hope of becoming immersed, of having our emotions played with, and anyway most anything's better than the saccharine, predictable strings 'n' beats sludge Hollywood serves up as the accompaniment to its productions these days. Be warned, this EP does feature some genre clichés in the form of chanting, whether male (vaguely Tibetan monk-like) or female (opera-lite sustained high notes). However, these as used purely as tonal and melodic devices rather than as performers, vocal lines becoming indefinitely sustained to float above the waves of sound beneath, or being broken down and echoing into themselves until they become a cloud mass, drifting in the instrumental currents. Nostrant succeeds in drawing you into his compositions by focusing on Eno's original interests; the feeling of space, of travelling within the music, itself more a lush distillation of tones into a single idea or place than any juxtaposition. Ten minutes into the half-hour EP, "God Came Down", with its psychedelic, sunny pop singing and rolling drumbeat, drops like a rock into a still pond, providing a little variety (and another link to the genre's past, as well as Eno's, natch). It's the opener "Bioluminescence" and closer "Elfin Lament" that stand out, however, erm, uninspired their titles. They're both excellent slides through, and indeed into, sound's ability to mesmerize and heal and would be totally at home on Chicago's Kranky label, which says it all, really. Those recently brought into the fold by the likes of Growing should head over to forthwith and see which sonic hallucinogens Nostrant is currently brewing for them.

(Vital Weekly) Silvercord is one Geoff Nostrant, who is currently making film music in South Korea. The six tracks on his 'Chasing Broken Shadows' CDR are all influenced by early minimalist, dark ambient, psychedelic & space rock music, although the latter influence becomes only apparent after the third track, with it's pounding drums, thick keyboard lines and psychedelic singing. The first three tracks are all mellow ambient, with a touch of darkness. Even when this is quite a nice release, I must admit it limps on two feet with three such different tracks on one hand and three on the other. But nice enough.

(Erasing Clouds) Silvercord's Chasing Broken Shadows EP begins like the audio illustration of the title, with two impressionistic instrumentals that float around you like wisps of fog - pretty but also eerie. Distant vocalists sing you through the sonic landscape; then emerge as a chaotic mix of remembered words and sounds. And then from all of this comes what? A brillant pop song called "god Came Down," with Silvercord, aka Geoff Nostrant, singing intensely but joyously over layers of beats and guitars about memories, personal and historic, about spiritual breakdowns, about finding hope within the context of eternal human arrogance. "It's good to be alive...nothing will change this," he sings. The hangover from that ecstatic peak, "Unearth Me," is Nostrant as a multi-voiced chorus of one, ruminating blissfully on who knows what all. It's a swirling dream of a song that's followed by a mostly instrumental prayer ("An Elfin Lament"), another shadow that may be broken but it's also completely gorgeous.


released November 1, 2003



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