Although the Ambient genre is rather minimalist in regards to sound, it’s actually breathtakingly large with regard to its scope of dynamics. From its very humble and atmospheric beginnings in the 1960’s, ambient has developed into a massive musical platform filled with soundscapes, natural and man-made field recordings to even include acoustic instrumentation. All of this combined provides thought-provoking visuals for the listener and sets off imaginative sparks like no other genre of music can do. Although a lot of modern day ambient recordings – especially dark ambient – take the listener to post apocalyptic and futuristic settings, they’re rare occasions when current events set the stage for providing the emotional outlet when conveying a message to the listener. That’s exactly what Forgotten Bottom has accomplished on their debut album called, ‘Hostile Architecture’. Instead of thrusting the listener in the the dangers of futuristic wastelands, they provide a compelling story of an equal horror – modern civilization in America. Whether it be the trials of addiction and recovery, the ailments of homelessness or the forgotten relics of abandoned buildings that once meant something to a past society, these are a few of the topics that take over the mind while listening to the recordings on this album. Although not a true and traditional ambient album, it clearly combines elements of the aforementioned genre with new-age music, chamber music, as well as acoustic dungeon music. It’s this combination that caught my attention and made me realize what an important album this is.
The lead off track, “Resurrected Dead On Planet Jupiter” begins with steady strums of the guitar and viola as if it’s the opening theme to a murder mystery movie. The production is clear and crisp but the vibe is that of an aged setting, creating a vintage atmosphere that portrays quieter times and empty voids. The layered guitar and viola duet creates a thunderous melody on this track as well as more peaceful and lush tones that flow well together. “Shoot Me Or Give Me A Place To Live” commences with a melee of sounds and tones before giving way to a neo-medieval riff. At around the halfway mark in the song, it begins to sound like a classic western-style acoustic arrangement. Eventually the guitar and viola break away in their own direction without creating a clash. There is so much energy in this track and it’s representation of the lower-class and shelterless are portrayed with extreme accuracy. “Touch Nothing Until The Signal” features some beautiful, ambient viola work, while the guitar provide an awesome solo arrangement. There are plenty of soundscapes and atmospherics going on here to fill the voids. Midway through the track, the viola riff takes center stage and gives a somber reminder of how hard it is to prosper during jagged times. However, as the music crescendo’s in the end, it shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel and although we may feel broken at times, we can all triumph in the end. Next up is “The Dog Has Been Poisoned So It Will Not Bark” originates with a mild rain soundscape and some soft guitar and viola tones to match. The melancholic vibe represents the silence of depression and the deep emotions of being lost. “Narcan Fairy” starts slow with a acoustic ambient sensation and then quicken turns into a festive medieval piece that would bring much cheer and celebration. The albums final track, “All Men, No Windows” is a slow building tune that seems to pay homage to those repressed, rural areas that life seemed to have abandoned in one sense or another. As the song seems to build and fade and build again – much like we do with our man-made high rise scenery, the final minute or so drones into the distance as if it’s being forgotten yet again.
Forgotten Bottom have created a superb vintage atmosphere without sounding worn or aged. Relying on multiple genres of acoustic-based music, the resilient sounds provide the ambience of real-world situations in which we can all relate. Whether you’re into ambient, new-age, or dungeon music, there is something on ‘Hostile Architecture’ that I’m sure you will find entertaining and worth multiple listens. Please support this exciting new act by downloading the album from the link below.
Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!