Album Appreciation: Dependency by Western Edges

As a resident of West Yorkshire for most of the 1990s I’m going to go along with the description of this album to get the ball rolling:

Dependency is a re-imagining of the sound of ‘90s garage, techno and ambient music coming out a car radio on an eclectic pirate radio station mixing in with the buffeting air around the hills and valleys of Yorkshire and Lancashire, UK… a journey through remote moorland after a ‘90s rave.

I can picture it… a chilled out mind… driving through chilled out scenery… listening to chilled out music… a feeling of coming down from the highs of the night before, yet also wanting to maintain part of the experience as you transition back into the real world/ everyday grind.

This is a perfect expression of what this album is for me which is, it could be said, nostalgic… and yet sounds bang up to date. To a certain extent it reminds me of fellow West Yorkshire traveller Craven Faults… their topological and musical milieux are certainly similar… although Western Edges is arguably somewhat more grounded in rave culture.

This is Western Edges second album, the first ‘Prowess’ was released in 2017, which is the solo project of Richard Adams, founder member, alongside his brother Chris, of Leeds band ‘Hood’. You can also check out ’Prowess’ here, which is well worth your time. Check below, where you can also access Adams other music as ’The Declining Winter’.

But back to ’Dependency’… it’s an album I have only just come across but has hardly been off my stereo since I bought the CD at the back end of last year… I think this is because it is the sort of music that is strangely comforting for the darkness that is both the time of the year and prevailing state of things. There are very few hard edges here, yet there is just that right number of punchy beats coming the the ambient washes of sound to suggest a sort of sonic coming of spring…

I guess what I am saying is that this is an album which seems to reach me where I am and pull me out of my reverie… it offers hope… it suggests the sunrise after a heavy night… it dwells with you for as long as you need it to through soft drones and patient glacial modulations… at times you may feel moved to imagine the hedonism of days gone by… but this is suitably veiled under a mist of sound which renders the experience opaque, where the joyless moments are filtered out.

In short this is a wonderful experience which somehow brings you into the moment in an unchallenging and accepting way… it evokes the right sort of longing and remembering… of a glorious past while inviting future hope… this is because, and this has just struck me, that sense of euphoria is somehow maintained even though the music itself is far more subtle than the banging beats of yore… that is perhaps why I have it on repeat.



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