arc, the fifth release by the trio Bloodmist , might be the 21st century's answer to Lou Reed's seminal work New York (Sire, 1989). Not that arc is a rock album, because it certainly is not. It has no lyrics, no references to dirty boulevards, dime store mysteries, or the demise of the American dream. It's just that the doom Reed sings about is on full display here.
The trio is comprised of the clarinet plus electronics of Jeremiah Cymerman, Mario Diaz de Leon on synths plus drum machine, and bassist Toby Driver. Like Bloodmist's previous releases, the music abides in a murkiness, both of mood and sound. With arc, the trio's sound has ripened into a complete presentation, one built upon darkness and shadow, rack and ruin. But this isn't your teen spirit angst. It is more structured, as we hear the opening track "Battle Mountain" where the slogging pulse prefigures the fragmented clarinet and static of electric signals. As with Cymerman's other releases, his Systema Munditotius, Vols. 1 & 2 (5049 Records, 2020 & 2021, respectively), and the most excellent Decay of the Angel (5049 Records, 2018) much consideration and planning goes into the sound design. Layers are crafted upon echoey reverberations with a purposeful strategy. Each musician is locked into the orientation, dark as it is. The music fits well with the famous Thelonious Monk quote, "It's always night, or we wouldn't need light."
Battle Mountain; Creston; Red Canyon; Santa Filomena.