Map 165 – The Fatigue Of Sunlight and Wine
Opening with the shrill tones of synthesized strings and unfolding into a beautifully epic listen from start to finish, Map 165‘s ‘The Fatigue Of Sunlight and Wine’ is designed to evoke thoughts of the longest, hottest summer. Released in winter for (some of us) on Voxxov Recordings, this could have easily proved that bit too testing for the imagination, but Map 165 have managed to create a hazy soundtrack awash with scorching mirage.
The length of tracks play a key part in the opening third of the album, as the poles-apart first three pieces set the scene for the story ahead. ‘The Sunshine Slumbered Among The Roses‘ will strike a chord hard within you that will leave you unwilling to let the track slip away from your ears. It does, and enter the haunting choral vocals of the following piece and at this point, I am reminded of Twine’s magnificent Violets.
A sense of serene calm will sweep through you as the record moves on, with the magnificent ‘It Was The Nightingale’ doing a great deal to establish this sheer peace. This is echoed a short while later in ‘The Sound Of Your Heart Beating Against The Burning Ground Where You Lie‘ with its lengthy and striking title, this track is aptly afforded the greatest portion of time in terms of track duration. ‘The Colours Hurt My Eyes‘ close this strong Ambient album with the treated guitar notes of ‘The Colours Hurt My Eyes’, ending with a warm surge of light.
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“Sun blind. A vast white arc of light that covers and exposes. Stone and skin are turned translucent. The soul of the place is exposed, burnt wide open by the screaming light, and we walk out into this. We step, with skin-burning steps, across crackling stone.
In the roadside shrine, green water seethes with velvet stillness.
Opposite the sun, the bell-clear blue rings out across the dome of the scalded sky. Midday and it can only get hotter; midday and all is stunned into stillness. And running over the white stone, a single line of blood, a droplet fallen and rolling from the wounded day. Its brilliance against the blank plane of limestone disturbs.
All balance is gone and one staggering step is taken, an age between steps, an aching journey through the solid white day, under the clanging sky. Time stretches like a rusty coil, shedding iron dust onto the heat-swimming ground.
The cup is raised; the wine wets the lips, pouring over the tongue to deluge the agony, dry throat. Explosion as the head and the light and the heat become one.
And above and through all this, an extending plateau of sound, a thin mirage of noise, glistening, still and floating. Each sun-seared colour has its own note – an intangible tone that permeates this southern right-angled light. Where each splinter of sunlight strikes, there is a sound – from the mirror bright sky to the baked yellow soil; all is harmony, all separate. A choir more felt than heard, spreading like smoke between the olive trees, rising and settling the dust like passing footsteps.
Its beat the pulse of blood in the ear, the sound of your heart beating against the burning ground where you lie.“