Wetlands is a mood piece. Occupying saturated worlds of buzzing neon and rain-soaked ambience, Christian Cohle’s latest offering is a sonic companion to noir inspired films like Wong Kar-Wai’s In The Mood For Love. Populated by intercut ambience and echoes of found sound, Cohle’s Wetlands is a work of interwoven themes and narratives where the past and present is blurred.
In keeping with its cinematic feel, the opening salvo of the title track, coupled with ‘Spinning Heart’, is an obscured collage of colors and shapes, setting the scene for everything else. Cohle’s soaring voice cuts through the textured production of Wetlands, creating a sense of clarity within the dominate atmospherics. This plays into a central theme of memory, emotion, and immediacy, mirrored in the contrasting sounds that flow from the background to the foreground.
Wetlands is dynamically intricate. Through songs like the spartan ‘Broken Future’, open sound and the repose of ‘Wrap Around Me’, a sonic ebb and flow appears as Wetlands moves from scene to scene. Allowing the contortion found on ‘Another Life’ to stand apart but still feel cohesive to the record’s overarching tone.
The closing scene of ‘Our Last Dance’ leaves Wetlands with a sense of catharsis. Capturing the isolation, scale, and depth of the record, ‘Our Last Dance’ traverses all three during its epic seven-minute runtime. Containing layers, the song plays with the introspective feel of Wetlands as well as the aforementioned themes of distant memory and immediate emotion.
And so it goes, Wetlands explores the convergent point between introspection and extrospection. The world of Wetlands is immense, populated by busy rain-soaked streets and shimmering neon lights that buzz throughout the night. But much like Kar-Wai In The Mood For Love it’s people who capture the imagination within these grand, dominant spaces. Christian Cohle’s keeps focus, ensuring that his voice guides us through, telling his story and leaving us wanting to explore Wetlands further.
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