Review: EUS, Postdrome & Saåad - Sustained Layers (2012)

artist: EUS, Postdrome & Saåad
release: Sus­tained Layers 
format: MC & Digital
year of release: 2012
label: BLWBCK
dur­a­tion: 44:05

More tape revival good­ness came to my atten­tion by way of this excel­lent ambient col­lab­or­a­tion on BLWBCK records from France. These three artists (from Costa Rica, the UK, and France, respect­ively) worked together on Sus­tained Layers, and the joining of efforts cer­tainly paid off.

As the title sug­gests, lay­ering of dif­ferent tex­tured sounds is the focus of this album, and the result is some­thing of that aural geo­logy that is the hall­mark of many inter­esting ambient and drone records. Though dense and obscure, the opening tracks have a fuzzy calmness to their slowly moving melodies. That atmo­sphere is lifted, how­ever, by the threat­ening theme of “Drone Me Tender”, a rather dark and noc­turnal affair. The album weaves back and forth between these atmo­spheres in a con­vin­cing manner, intro­du­cing a touch of relax­a­tion with “Limbo” and “Inner Cold”, but returning to heavier areas with “3AM”, of which you can view the ingenious video below. The final track provides a calm coda, a dawn after what has mostly been an album of night­time moods.

Sus­tained Layers is per­haps an unsur­prising album, but it is very well done and pleasant to listen to, on par with many of the releases from the Cyclic Law roster, for example. If you’re a dark ambient lover and a tape lover, best be quick, because at the time of writing there are only a few of the 67 copies left. Oth­er­wise, there’s always the digital edi­tion to check out.

Reviewed by O.S.

1. Arrows of Night (6:44)
2. 3PM (3:56)
3. Drone Me Tender (5:00)
4. Limbo (4:15)

5. Inner Cold (8:58)
6. 3AM (5:34)
7. Destruc­tion (6:47)
8. Dawn (feat. Metal Alvin) (2:51)