Avrocar are an interesting band, but not exactly the most productive band. Against the Dying of the Light is the follow up to their 1999 debut album Choreography. Yes, that means they have released 2 albums in 9 years. They move at a rather slow pace.
As does the music in this disc. This is an album of mellow ambient tones. It takes some getting used to. In fact, the first few times i listened to this record, i kept expecting it to contain more of the mellowish IDM that Avrocar made on their Guidance EP back in 2004. Instead, Against the Dying of the Light is more ambient in an almost beatless sense. It is so slow that one tends to think nothing at all is happening. It is that type of ambient music that you will either completely ignore as it plays in the background, or you will become totally engrossed in it as it plays.
There are some fascinating moods created here, and Avrocar juxtapose many interesting sounds. The music is subtle, yet all the more lovely for it's subtlety.
Take Iac. This song starts with a strange voice-synthesis bit. When that fades out, a sort of Middle Eastern drone kicks up. And then a chugging beat comes in, and builds slowly until it overpowers the Middle Eastern beat for a powerful, head-nodding experience.
Illustrate a Way to Survive is another standout. This starts with an ambient wash of sound, like the rushing of wind or the sound of a jet engine. This is coupled with a keyboard melody of cascading layers of synth tones. Eventually there is a hushed vocal bit behind the jet engine, like a choir singing hymns as you speed by. It is spacey and meandering, yet very enjoyable.
Title track Against the Dying of the Light reminds me a lot of Biosphere. This song features a sample from an old classical record (you can hear it skip, which becomes sort of a beat as the song progresses) as well as some synths. The slight skip is the only beat, as this song sort of meanders about under strings and synths. On the other hand, Soft Lightning contains a brief interlude that sounds lifted straight out of an Auburn Lull song -- a deep bass and drum mellow groove with washes of guitar.
I find that i enjoy this record far more when i really pay attention to it. There is really a lot going on, but you have to pay attention or it all just becomes a vaguely pretty haze of sound. There are not a lot of ambient records that i can say that about. This is not background music ambient, but it is relaxing and rewarding. Avrocar continue to delight. And at this rate, their next album will be ready in 2017. I wonder what it will be like?