Blending messages, of scientific and philosophic thought, into your album can be as challenging as performing the musical work itself – but Todd Snow has accomplished conjoining musicality with the intricacy of Aphelion. Instead of describing the material of what occurs, Todd Snow instead explores the relation Aphelion has to the inner self, operating under the definition: “the point in the orbit of a planet or comet that is a the greatest distance from the sun.”
Sounds are threaded through an undulating terror, textures and rhythmic synth-work form visceral passageways to embellish fragmentary images. Daunting experimentation’s drift in and out of phase, rhythm and harmony; each one repeating and colliding with one another; constantly shifting in unpredictable combinations. Soft but sonically detailed textures overlap at a level of sustained pace and dynamic that allows the listener to choose the degree at which they listen.
Self-released August 8, 2008, Todd Snow launches us into the Aphelion gem, venturing from sonic aspirations to adventure’s taken from phantasmal journeys deep in the sub-conscious.
Immediately we dive into bliss. Far Distant Future is where ships blast and spiral through tumultuous washes of grandeur sonic waves, crashing upon the shores of your ears. All the while, soundscapes vacillate in nebulous white noise, blanketing high-pitched sonorous layers that fill our heads then descend into a calm storm. Simplicity is captivating as we are thrusted into the next track, All Things Fade Away.
Opening myriad collections of sound designs and arrangements protruding from the noise-full cosmic caverns. Stirs of amicable energy glide in the form of wonderful sonic architecture sinuously shaping like water. Synths breathe and mutate with ambivalent superimposition, and textured bells and chimes stab dissonantly then descend us into a meditative dream. Rich sonic valleys heed to a progressive state, with an aura fading into memories fragmented.
Who Will I be Tomorrow treats us to thunder slowly building with subtle white noise undulating compositional roaring’s. Subtle chatter breaks through, reveling in this somatic nightmare as Todd Snow experiments with this delicate energy, vibrating warm timber throughout but adding effects of certain filters that ensues mystery to spread its wings. The energy vacillates from a waking state to a dream exhuming a darkness beckoning from deep inside.
Yellow Star perfectly awaits entrance. Building from minimal structure of its predecessor, synth’s carefully build and shape spatial-landscape, allowing us to observe the body of this great organism; producing sections resembling a cosmic symphony, an orchestra of dissonant tonality building the framework of the music’s universal fabric.
Moving us through internal layers, transforming a sense of rhythm through ambivalence, Sound Supernova creates, within us, wonder. Textured bells become a palpable aesthetic for Aphelion, shrouded in atmospheric curtains of sonic waves. Brightly articulated sounds sound tip-toe across muffled racket and synonymous sounds harshly clicking.
Immersing; Engaging. Fading Away into Itself throws us into the depths of ego dissolution. Distortion becomes prominent as we race through a valley of the individual, autonomic character’s open and pulsate warm sonic fabrics. Muffled, dampened speech accents this energy, as spurs of white noise build into a grand exit of intricately performed mixing from myriad synth’s.
Sounds are, in every sense of the word, teeming with the same life as us. With strength built into each arrangement, the focus and execution of ideas, and above all the care that went into each section, into each instrument, made Aphelion even more refreshing.
Todd Snow is easily an ambient artifact, with an imagination that races through lands I have never known; through senses I never thought possible.