the unveiling of darkness

voice of eye and thomas dimuzio

record label records

2013 CD & LP


play | buy


“...offers a sometimes harrowing glimpse into inner states associated with depression and madness..” — Textura

An excellent trip, this is head music” —Vital Weekly


The base material for The Unveiling of Darkness was recorded on September 17, 2009 in a San Francisco studio with overdubs credited to Voice of Eye (Jim Wilson and Bonnie McNairn) and “transformations” to Thomas Dimuzio. The respective parties first met at the IAMINDUST festival in San Francisco in 2008; reconvening a year later at the same festival, the three decided to add a studio session to their calendars. The result is a remarkable collection of haunting ambient-drone settings, with three of the five pushing past the sixteen-minute mark. The epic tone of the music is reinforced by the cosmological and mythological overtones of the track titles. “Themisto,” for example, refers not only to an irregular satellite of Jupiter but also to Themisto, the daughter of Hypseus in Greek mythology, and similar background associations arise in reference to “Lysithea” (also an irregular satellite of Jupiter and, in Greek mythology, a daughter of Oceanus and one of Zeus's lovers) and “Triton” (Neptune's largest moon and, in Greek mythology, the messenger of the sea).

No detailed instrumentation details are provided on the CD package itself, though the promo sheet does make note of Wilson's home-spun instruments, McNairn's pitch-perfect voice, and Dimuzio's processing treatments. Of one thing there is little doubt: the control and restraint they exercise in defining the instrument sounds and arranging the elements into long-form settings is impressive. For eighteen minutes, “Andrasthea” arcs gracefully across the sky in a series of overlapping vocal and guitar-like tones, the mood one of funereal sadness, even mourning. That “Io” references one of the four moons of Jupiter is entirely apropos, given the otherworldly character of the piece itself. In contrast to the opener, “Io” is more turbulent and possesses a nightmarish and vaguely industrial quality that the serene opener lacks. In the second of three extended pieces, long, descending trails suggest the slow-motion plummet of an aircraft, and the combustible elements drop from the skies like dive-bombers.

Though relatively brief, “Themisto” opens an immense black hole at the recording's center when blustery foghorns of swirls, gas, and primal beats assert their forceful presence. That sets the stage for the yawning abyss that is “Lysithea,” a barren and ice-cold set-piece whose ethereal rumble and deathly windstorms have got Glacial Movements written all over it. Some semblance of calm thankfully re-establishes itself during the closing “Triton,” allowing the listener to leave the recording with a sense that sanity's been reclaimed. Aside from the obvious high level of craft involved, The Unveiling of Darkness is also distinguished by clear contrasts in mood and style between its five settings, something that comes into clear focus upon close listening. The hour-long recording is by turns becalmed and bewitched, and offers a sometimes harrowing glimpse into inner states associated with depression and madness.

Vital Weekly

The world of limited editions. The release by Thomas Dimuzio and Voice Of Eye is also available as a download - like anything else these days - but also as a 2LP set, in 'an ultra limited edition of 10 copies' - what's the point there, I thought. But I must admit I was quite surprised to see this somewhat unlikely collaboration. I know Dimuzio perhaps best as someone who works inside the more seriously composed electronic music with hints towards the electro-acoustic music, while Voice Of Eye have been around for a similar amount of time as a duo fine woven ambient music with a touch of incense/hippie/mystique. But those instruments by Voice Of Eye are played through electronic devices and Dimuzio knows how to touch the ambience through his playing, so maybe it's not all that odd. They first met in 2008 but recorded together in Dimuzio's studios on September 17, 2009 and later on did some more overdubs and transformations. Itunes opens this up and says I am hearing 'new age' music. Maybe I am, I said to myself, during the first track, 'Andrasthea', but of course, I already knew this is not standard new age. Not that I actually know what new age does sound like, but from the time I try to sell ambient music to new age shops, they always told me it was 'too dark', and if that was dark, then they haven't heard Voice Of Eye with Dimuzio, as when the disc moves on things end up pretty dark around here. There is some more keys being played on these keyboards, with reverb set to 'spooky cathedral', twisting and turning knobs with bass up. No wishy-washy light flutes, but cosmic space matter, dark hole disappearing stuff and all the usual metaphors apply. It sounds more like Voice Of Eye in a way than a Dimuzio release, I should think. All of this deep end ambient is their trade mark more than it is Dimuzio's, but it's I guess his love of transforming sound through electronics is needed here to enhance it further. That opening piece is quite heavenly, with that chanting and guitars, but the other four tracks take the listener into the black evening of a dark forest. No such as new age around this corner of the woods. An excellent trip, this is head music.—Frans de Waard