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coverpic flag US - New York - Full Moon 105 - 04/24/05

Bleeding Light

I first heard and fell for Mr. Jon DeRosa's music 2 years ago. Its name says it all. Cold and beautiful, Aarktica held something very special. Jon DeRosa happens to be deaf in one ear, which has effected his music in a very unique, while subtle way. It's quite interesting what he's said in various interviews concerning how he's been effected by the hearing loss.

"Depression Modern" is a funeral durge. Slightly processed horns and saxophones play long-tones of dolefulness. His clear, sad voice sings lyrics of despair. The song lives up to its name. "OJ Gude" sees slow electric strumming, glitch, and more incredibly quiet, slow and saddened voice. DeRosa's singing is sing-speak monotone, and slowly flows in its Eeyore-esque way. "Night Fell, Broke Itself" consists of an open field of many guitars, electronically effected and played in an experimental way.

"A Shadow Knife" sulks even lower into the blackened pit of sorrow. It's long; at 8 minutes you'll be pulled down with it. You must be prepared to be literally depressed by Bleeding Light. DeRosa is not afriad to take his listeners down. His first drumming happens at this half-way point on the album, backing a saxaphone solo. The drums are good, very characteristic. The effect is good enough to carry this long song and make it one of this albums' shining moments. Great mixtape material, this "Shadow Knife". "We're Like Two Drops Seperated" is a very hazy and eerie lap-top created account. It is very odd and seems to sort of weave and wave in and out of existence. There are a lot of stereo effects in this song, which, curiously, and eerily in many ways, Mr. DeRosa cannot hear.

Clean guitar and perky drums greet us as the sun finally rises just a bit over the tundra in "A Wash, A Sea, Goodbye, It's Me". DeRosa sings "I've spent the last few nights since I first found out tortured by the thought 'it makes more sense to be filled with doubt'. So you moved too soon, so you're lost to me, and I can't find your voice and the words you speak and it's terrifying". So sad. Even his resolute songs are so sad.

"Twilight Insectica" and the title track, "Bleeding Light", close the album. The penultimate tune, for really the first time on this album, harks back to older Aarktica sounds. Highly effected singing ebbs, and DeRosa is almost playful here. A tone that surely sounds of death, this piercing electrical monotone, finishes the album. "C'mon Baby, you gotta make it through the night, gotta waste nearly half our lives before we find a grave or a bleeding light", he sings.

Bleeding Light is a very sad album, and it's much more. I recommend it highly, but it's hardly one of those "important" albums. It's actually quite special.

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