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Artist: Displacer
Title: Night Gallery
Genre: Electronic
Release Date: 24th May 2011
Label: Tympanik Audio

Album Review

There have been quite a few DISPLACER releases in the past few years; releases exhibiting a vast bandwidth of styles of Michael Morton’s project, from the crackling lo-fi trip-hop of ‘The Witching Hour’ over the 70s styled electronica with a psychedelic touch on ‘X Was Never Like This’. Once the first note of the first full length in years, ‘Night Gallery’, hits we’re taking off into dark spaces with long, sustained tones outstretching, touching eternity and splinters of piano grouping around them. It’s the environment build up for the kicking rhythm to meander in properly. The track makes an ominous start to an album that continues to drift into the opaque with ‘Invisible’, which is shrouded in banks of dense fog. So much actually, there’s only sensing of something like a will inside that guides it and brings the chilly moods. The beat’s almost getting redundant over that massive amount of layers. ‘Wave’ is becoming a shimmering piece of dark matter and a gateway to the upbeat ‘Radioactive’ which introduces some fine sound effects in conjunction with the breakbeat structure of the track and sometimes even a bright ray of sunlight cuts through the melancholy waves of ambience.

The following ‘Orchid’ has become one of my favourite tracks on the record. It is like gazing into the distance over a vast plain while the sun’s setting slowly. It even wouldn’t have needed any beats. The ambience does already a perfect job in creating vivid and beautiful imagery in your mind of a place that’s far away and yet isn’t. ‘Awakening with the way it mingles piano and vintage sounding strings offers insight in things, happened in the past and opens new ways for the future. Can’t find the right words to put it better right now! The crossing of two timelines, maybe. ‘Falling’ features vocals by DOWNHOUSE and might be getting good rotation in the clubs if it’s getting into the hands of not too narrow-minded DJs. It’s got a singular groove that makes it completely irresistible. The closing to the album is ‘Ice Cold’, a single long soundscape, a camera shot of an endless, cold ice desert whose thick layers are being melted by peculiar warmth that is suddenly coming from deep beneath. The only thing giving it a little structure is some distorted sound bites coming in later.

I already had a good feeling about this album upon hearing the snippets on the label’s webpage, but ‘Night Gallery’ in its entirety leaves a far better impression and once you’ve complete your first listen of the whole album, you’ll realize the artwork is an apt visual recreation of the mood it’s harbouring. Possibly one of the best electronica releases in 2011.


01. Phantom Limb - 4:12
02. Invisible - 5:41
03. Wave - 1:49
04. Radioactive - 4:06
05. Orchid - 4:25
06. Ghost Planet - 3:46
07. In Limbo - 2:02
08. Awakening - 4:16
09. Falling - 4:22
10. Foggy Memory - 0:59
11. Ice Cold - 7:05


Michael Morton – All Music & Production


Cover Picture



Music: 9
Sound: 10
Extras: -
Total: 9.5 / 10

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