Fortresses creates a soundscape of deep consideration and subtlety in Near, his latest release for Dragon’s Eye Recordings.

To enter in a new environment is to dial in to a different frequency, to hone the senses and tap into the energy that surrounds. When Fortresses spent time in Portland, Oregon and the surrounding regions, the Londoner found himself tuning into the Pacific Northwest, inspired by the climate and the natural landscape.

Similar to his previous DER releases, Spring and Eve, each sonic element is crafted and captured deliberately, immersing the listener in an intuitive means of tracking time as it passes; its units of measurements are organic markers of the present moment as it naturally progresses. 

As he worked on this piece in the months that followed his formative trip to Portland, the memory of that ecosystem began to inhabit the track through the airy, rhythmic drone that slowly pulses with life. Gradually, like a living organism, the breathing expands, a consciousness awakens; new sounds, reminiscent of distant horns or a soft rush of wind gently integrate themselves into the flow.   

Fortresses reflects on his excursion into unfamiliar terrain, recalling his walks deep into the misty forests of Oregon as a time of profound personal change. And there too is a sense of gradual evolution and nearly imperceptible growth in the slow build of the piece. The undulating rhythm imagines the depths under the cold waves of the Pacific, the swaying tops of ancient pine trees far in the woods, or clouds heavy with rain as they pass along overhead. 

In its quietude, Near encourages the listener to lean into the lull, to find stillness, and further immerse oneself into the sound. It captures the heartbeat of nature. In its steady gathering of the rhythms it recapitulates, Near becomes its very own lifesource, humming into being in a new world.