Album Title: 
Lost Here
Release Date: 
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Review Type: 

ProtoU are quite a young project from Ukraine, led by Sasha Cats. Only recently she entered the realms of the Drone / Ambient / field recordings scene; before Sasha was known as violinist and choir singer especially. She did join forces with Dronny Darko in 2015, with that first split-release done via ‘Cinematic Dark Ambient labelCryo Chamber Records (the label of Atrium Carceri’s Simon Heath, who took care of this album’s artwork and mastering), and via the very same label she now returns with Lost Here, a six-track album that clocks three quarters of an hour.

Most parts on Lost Here are like a multi-layered yet, at the same time, quite tranquil combination of low-tuned drones, long-stretched melody chords and natural field recordings. It holds the middle in between the hypnotic ambience of noisescapes at the one hand, and haunting aural creations at the other. In all cases there is quite a progression within both structure and play, in order to have the result remaining inspirational, dreamlike, even joyful. Let’s take the opening track, for example, which slowly builds up, starting from a cold and minimal soundwave, constantly evolving and transmorphing, adding layers of sonic hypnosis and trancelike integrity. It’s like the search for a balance in between the mysticism of dream worlds, and the daily struggle of life and reality. Despite the sonic quietude, there is a hidden dynamism that slowly drags you with the sound towards the inner eye, dimensions unknown, unexplored. And within compositions like Unreal Symbols, ProtoU makes use of subtle piano melodies, for example, once again showing the distinctive, own-faces vision by this talented artist. Even a track like The Map, which at first sight floats on repetitive nihilism, actually has several hidden layers that you’ll undergo when investing aural energy and the will / wish to go deeper into the subject. Believe, then again, is quite the opposite, presenting dynamic layers of, well, I’d like to use words like outer-body experience or levitation. The spirit behind such compositions shamelessly create some levitating escapism, you see (mind the mysterious sample in Believe, and you will believe me…).

It’s amazing to notice the height of both creativity and talent by such a young, and new, artist. This young lady is able to put quite some emotion and intimacy within the integer character, which delves into the abyssal regions of our dream worlds, yet not necessarily seen from a depressed point of view. No, there is no happiness going on right here; it’s like the exploration of serene mental structures and atmospheric-emotional textures without judgement.