Public Memory’s Wuthering Drum is a record that instantly warps your sense of reality. It fortifies a world of its own around you so quick that you can’t escape, and that world isn’t necessarily comfortable. It feels dark, it feels damp, corrupt and wicked to the point that it gives you the chills. But like the Pied Piper, the sounds are so entrancing it convinces you to turn toward and welcome the dark side.
Built on the back of the sound of a Korg MS-20, Robert Toher’s solo project Public Memory resists the temptation of overindulging in the endless possibilities of modern synthesis, rather embracing the limitations and unique character of the synth for the works advantage.
Carefully balancing every element. Wuthering Drum blends the mono-tonal quivering of Roberts voice with hip-hop-esque beats, sampled percussion and recorded piano, moulding a reverberant atmosphere around its core that stalks the record from start to finish.
To its credit, although each track exists within the same sonic spectrum, each song possesses its own unique feel and quality in its composition. Starting with the sounds of wind chimes in ‘Heir’, each song builds rhythmically from the down tempo shuffle beats in ‘Mirror’ to the reggae style dub in ‘Cul De Sac’, drawing on sonic motifs throughout that suck the tracks back into the albums cavernous realm as a whole.
Taken from the press release “Wuthering Drum doesn’t need an abundance of flashes and frills to illustrate its point” and I agree. It’s a body of work that despite its minimalism has no problems getting its message across. While at times it can feel abrasive and dark, it does provide moments where you can feel warmly uplifted as each listen seems to reveal more of its subtle nuances to latch on to.
As You Wish
How It Stacks Up
4.1 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ◊
Record Label: Felte