SHRINE & MYTRIP: Descent
Release year: 2022
Label: Amek/Corvus Records
And we return unto Shrine, whose 7″ EP Distorted Legends, pt. 3 we reviewed just last week (read here). We’re sticking to the shorter format this time around as well, but seeing as how this is a collaborative release, obviously the stylistic trappings are somewhat different.
Mytrip are also a Bulgarian act within the broader industrial music field. They’re described as an ambient/drone project, so there’s some shared ground between the two acts. And less surprisingly, that is what Descent feels like in comparison to Distorted Legends, pt. 3.: some similarities, some dissimilarities. Just wait a while and I’ll pull out some more d’uh-type nuggets of wisdom from my hat…
The overall mood of the EP, in comparison to Distorted Legends, pt. 3, is somewhat darker, somewhat noisier, and somewhat more overtly industrial. There’s not much of actual drone in here; instead there are more of distortion-covered, slowly evolving layers of industrial buzzing. This makes the EP slightly more menacing.
On the other hand, there are slowly shifting synth layers of melancholic serenity and forlorn beauty, much as on Distorted Legends. Partially, they mesh well with the slightly more abrasive industrial layers, and partially they stand in contrast, creating a dynamic of controlled friction between the two poles of sound.
I am of course inspired by the cover artwork, but the end result is a soundtrack to exploring old, abandoned mine shafts, industrial complexes and ruins where the ever-corrosive touch of man has mutilated the face of nature. There’s a sense of beautiful desolation, lingering unease, and the tortured whispers of abandoned machinery.
Unlike some collaborations, where you can easily say who is responsible for what, on Descent the elements come together nicely. Sure, people more intimately familiar with the projects involved can probably say with some certainty that “this is clearly Shrine, and that’s obviously Mytrip” – but it goes deeper than the superficial audial fingerprint of each. The compositions themselves glue together. There’s a symbiosis of sound here.
The result is a pleasantly haunting piece of darkly ambient, ambiently industrial soundscapes. These would go well together with urban exploration of dilapidated neighbourhoods, or a book about some post-apocalyptic, vaguely melancholy dystopia.