Siavash Amini – Serus (CD Room40)

Remember when you were at school when your teacher wanted to get the everyone to pay attention and actually ran their nails down the chalkboard? Or the noise of a knife scraping on a plate at dinner time? How both manage to bypass your skin and ears and just bore down into your bones? The same is true of Siavash Amini’s latest offering ‘Serus’. 

There is something about the combinations of sounds that really make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. This of course is a good thing. It shows that the music actually makes you feel something, rather than just occupies a moment in time before you either play something else or go out. ‘Serus’ is an album that feels like a waking dream. In fact, parts of it feel like they could easily be lifted from a David Lynch film. ‘A Recollection of the Disappeared’ could be easily from the score to Dune. Dank synths rumble over each other, like dark clouds covering the Sun, while searing sounds pierce their way through as the Sun eventually shines through the heaviest clouds.

After an evening of hedonism Amini ended up in hospital with Blanchot’s words in his head. While he was drifting in and out of consciousness his mind felt at peace while also being wide awake and perceptive of everything around him. All of this played into the conception of the album. Amini wrote the album around the idea that Maurice Blanchot had about every night being two nights. “The night the body spends in sleep is not the same as the night the dreamer spends in dreams. The sleeping body may lie under the stars, and the dreamer may dream of the stars—even of a journey to the stars—but the night of the dream is a night without stars.” The track that encapsulates this is ‘All That Remains (Part 1)’. Throughout there are two tracks happening, simultaneously. The first is a sombre drone, representing the peaceful sleeping portion of the night. The second has more movement to it and is slightly more lairy. Combined they create this juxtaposition of stasis and flux, which is what Blanchot believes night to be.

At its heart ‘Serus’ is a rich album that offers more questions than it answers. What happens when we dream? Why do we sometimes wake feeling totally refreshed? After some night’s sleep why do I feel like I need another sleep? NR