Raphael Weinroth-Browne – Worlds Within (self-released, 24 January 2020)
Good afternoon! Hope everyone out there is doing their best to maintain a positive outlook on this gloomy mid-May Monday.
If not, perhaps it would help if you took a moment to listen to this album from earlier this year: you may remember Raphael Weinroth-Browne as the cello player who comprises one-third of Musk Ox and half of The Visit, both of whom we really enjoyed listening to when we had written about these groups’ previous output.
Well, Worlds Within is Mr. Weinroth-Browne‘s first solo full-length, and it nicely showcases the wide-ranging versatility his instrument (occasionally augmented by effects pedals) is capable of.
Though ostensibly divided into ten separate tracks, and grouped into a few named sections with multiple numbered subsections, the album in essence contains a single continuously-flowing piece of music.
After a very soft orchestral-sounding introduction, opener “Unending” gradually succumbs to dreamy waves of gorgeous sound that gently wash over the listener; from there the long, reverby notes that lead into the two-part “From Within” give way to an aural collage of swiftly plucked notes set atop layers of repeated and overlapping countermelodies; later turning into an impressive section where one can imagine the bow bouncing and flying in the musician’s nimble fingers.
Serving as a transition from the first half of the record to the second half, “From Above” continues the trend of using swiftly dancing notes, but subtly begins to take on an electronic, inorganic quality and develop into a pseudo-industrial rhythm. This takes us to the suite fittingly named “Tumult,” which introduces us to even more layers of unnerving confusion and madness, as well as contrasting rhythms. This continues through the fourth and final movement, which is set against an underlying percussive rhythm like an ominously ticking clock.
Returning to a period of relative calm again, another transitional piece “Fade (Afterglow)” gives off ripples of reverb, like slowly dripping water heard from somewhere within an ancient, abandoned house. And finally the composition cycles back to the second part of “Unending,” closing out the album with a very similar vibe to how it had begun.
Stream or download Worlds Within here, or grab the CD or vinyl (both come in standard or limited signed/hand-numbered editions, and both feature beautiful cover art painted by Raphael‘s The Visit bandmate Heather Sita Black) here.
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