I was 30,000 feet above the sea when I was listening to Origin, the debut LP by Russia’s Antethic. I was between Prague and Munich in the middle of the night. Whatever happened to be occurring inside and outside the plane became the visual reinforcement for what was going through my ears. ‘Time Forward’, Origin’s opener, played while we were in a state of major turbulence. Tray tables were shaking about, machinery was rattling, my stomach was being squeezed. The track itself, an eerie and climactic epic, gave me the overall feeling of uneasiness, precariousness and foreboding. As the album progressed, and the turbulence continued, the layers of creepy reverb, the dark and discordant chord progressions, the electronic sensibilities, and the eerie drones gave the plane trip this preternatural wonder. At one stage, I’m pretty sure I was looking at a glass of water for a good three minutes. ‘Cheliuskin’, well, it made me drawn to the objectivity of things. The electronic closer, ‘White Whale’, almost felt like the literary villain itself: colossal, unusual, beguiling, and ultimately damaging. ‘White Whale’ slowly finished the album with an dark, creepy chord progression, which played continuously for four minutes until it eventually fades.
The closer in ‘White Whale’ epitomises Origin, really. Antethic engineer all the right keys and chord progressions to create a sound that is enigmatic, ethereal and suspenseful all at once, but what makes the album captivating is that the overbearing sense of uncertainty is never really resolved. I may well have had my drinks spiked, but this album really crept through my capillaries and, as ‘White Whale’ eventually faded out, I was unsure if Origin had really left me.
Post rock, math rock, instrumental, progressive, dark, ethereal, electronic