Dublin four-piece Channel One craft an impressive debut album that effortlessly melds electronica, post-rock and new-wave styles.
There was a point not so long ago when all instrumental post-rock music had begun to sound the same. Thankfully then, Dublin four piece Channel One break the mould by softening their post-rock vibe with carefully implemented electronica, hazy vocals and oddly soothing distortion. The end result is an album that provides as much diffuse chill-out music as it does art-rock noise, even succeeding in blurring the line between the two.
Over two minutes of electronic intro sets the tone on opener 'Soubresaut,' as it gradually intensifies into a bright, up-tempo, beat heavy number. A lot of Sound To Light is instrumental, and where vocals are used they slot perfectly into the ambient mood, adding pattern and texture rather than melody. The same can be said for the rhythms, which are predominantly restrained, underpinning these minimalist tracks without overpowering them.
It's true, Sound To Light still sounds like plenty of other things, but Channel One do remember to throw vivid splashes of their individuality at you every so often. 'September' is just over a minute of a skipping loop and high pitched distortion, while the eerie piano of 'Taiga' is like something you'd hear in a haunted house. Aside from this, the tone and atmosphere vary little throughout, but only closing track, 'Roads,' ever really becomes tiresome.
Sound To Light can be most fully appreciated in an appropriately spaced out frame of mind, because this is not really an album you listen to, but rather, one that you let envelop you.