Step Further Away – Step Further Away

A lonely shadow of a person appears to be standing in the middle of a damp country road in the album art for Step Further Away's self-titled debut.

A lonely, shadowy person appears to be standing in the middle of a damp country road in the album art for Step Further Away’s self-titled debut. It just… leaves you with so many questions. I can’t think of any right now, but I think there were a lot of them earlier.

Artist: Step Further Away
Title: Step Further Away
Label: Noise-Joy
Cat#: NJMP3-0194
Keywords: Ambient
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

Greetings and salutations! (I’ve been getting bored with the standard ‘hello’). Here in a moment, I’m going to be telling you all about this album, by Step Further Away, which was the debut of this project, actually. That moment is coming very soon, too. Like… right after this sentence.

It begins with ‘Passage Out’. We hear something like a percussive wind, almost gong-like strikes upon metal surfaces from faraway. It’s like giants are skipping steely stones upon a factory floor that is magically drifting above us on a cloud. The struck tones are highly resonant and acoustic, swimming in reverb. After awhile, I forgot where I was, and got lost in my mind.

‘As The Present Blurs’ sweeps slowly in, like a tornado en route, and there’s a sound like a street sign being jostled back and forth. Another piece of steel is being struck in time. Then, the most beautiful ambient sounds arrive to our ears, which takes this track into the sublime, a perfect ethereality. This is one of my favorite ambient pieces from the Noise-Joy era. It slinks back into the mist for a moment. It feels like a rotation of the world. Absolutely beautiful in every way.

Next is ‘Now A Silent God’. Short bursts of creaking, warm static groan into the mix, reverberating out like distorted, hyper-intense heartbeats emanating from a void. The pulsations become more erratic, the space between more distant.

On ‘Glimmering’, there is a sound like the surface of a bell being gently scraped. There are strange shuffling noises. The tones become complex, harmonically, almost like a choir.

‘Robotic Genetics’ begins quietly, with slight touches of feedback and noise. This one feels very isolationist, the feedback reminds me of whistles during a stroll through lonely places, or on an empty work floor. There is a clamor of sounds… it’s very eerie.

‘Underwork’ feels like a giant pinball machine or train mechanisms running mad at a station. Explosive, percussive, mechanical noises, dinging, short steel bells. It fades away, and becomes quiet, before the shrieks of whistles re-emerge.

Then, ‘Focus On Nothing’ comes on, and I hear high-pitched electronic squelches, rising up. There are tides of robotic waves…

… the final track is ‘Which Way Is Up’. Darkness, and sounds like something out of a digitized clocktower. It’s like I’m a bug underneath a large refrigerator, listening to the massive quakes of its internal mechanisms humming. It becomes noisier, with a shuffling downtempo rhythm comprised of seems to be white noise and downtuned claps.

Take a listen at the link below! Bon voyage! (I’m kind of bored with the usual ‘goodbye’).

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