Alan Clark has been making music for decades, starting in the 90’s with drum and bass. Now, he is ventured into similar yet unfamiliar waters with his project titled Tunnel at the End of the Light. Currently residing in Denmark, he makes wonderful music with various genres in mind, ranging from ambient and drone to classical and orchestral. “Dust or Rust”, this project’s most recent EP, is a stunning effort in the direction of well, everywhere, and these five songs are as enjoyable as the expectation you have to see what comes next.
So how does this album begin? Bleak, and gloomy. The title track, “Dust or Rust” is swallowed in a loop filled with lament. However, the output actually becomes quite beautiful with hints of pianos and many other instruments here and there. This attention to detail gives the song the depth it needs, but changes the environment of the song to a happier outlook. The transformation is what attracts me to this song; the end is completely different from the beginning, with only adding on layers to the same loop from the start.
RELEASE DATE: 07 May 2015 LABEL: Self-released
The next song, “Breathing”, is completely different, with alien-like sounds and direct, overbearing synthesizers. As it progresses, the track gets larger and larger, and achieves a sense of grandiosity. The piano keys flicker over the track so gently, and the growing atmosphere still falls slightly behind it until the final seconds of the song. “Breathing” is an open song, and it has a certain rhythm to it that leads me to believe that the song itself is alive, living, and breathing.
“A Solitary Place” is an eight minute exploration of vivid emotions, so vivid that you feel the burden of it surround you the deeper you go into this track. Solitary is the perfect way to describe this song, because you will feel abandoned, and you will feel alone. It feels like everything is slowly slipping away from you, and the piano brings forth the beauty that is falling out of your life. The drone texture and the cutting siren-like sound both keep you in this horrible place, and you have to battle your way through this track. The song is both uplifting and depressing, and the worlds clash together without one side being a clear winner. This is a song that you need to experience to get why it has such a hold over you, and the experience of this solitary place is what makes it a stand-out on the EP.
“Dust or Rust” truly goes everywhere, and I never knew what was lying ahead when I awaited the next track. Like always, they surprised me, and that goes for “The Light Makes Her Shadow Dance” as well. The dream-like piano which seems to be inspired from C418 is the staple of this short endeavor. It’s a wonderful, enchanting melody that is equally gripping and vast in nature. The background of distant static has little pockets of sounds throughout, and everything from birds chirping to disruptive fuzzy glitches fill this track with an astounding level of noise.
The last track of the EP is stretched out and quiet. There’s a much stronger cinematic element to this song, brought on by the lovely arrangement of strings. Of course, there are buzzing synthesizers too, which gives it a much more dramatic embrace. “I’ll Be The Clouds, You Can Be The Rain” is a lullaby spun with a sad hymn, and the impact is devastating. You get this overbearing sound that is broken by beautiful gaps of noise, with subtle field recordings to liven the song. You can hear rain gently falling in the background, and its essence is wonderful.
“Dust or Rust” is an expression of how powerful atmosphere can be. Each song displays such driving and moving soundscapes that is the result of a musician who fine tunes his craft, adding in each necessary part to make the EP whole. There is never a missed moment, only moments perfectly fulfilled with a samples, distortions, recordings, and a ton of instruments varying all ranges of music. It is a must hear for listeners who enjoy a wild ride, but isn’t that all of us? You cannot tie this project down to one genre, and it’s almost limitless approach to music is why “Dust or Rust” deserves your attention.
You can purchase the album here.