Jon Porras has undoubtedly succeeded in creating the audio equivalent of a deserted landscape. The musician (also known as being one half of Barn Owl) was laying down these tracks with his solitary electric guitar for ten months plus; such patience is mirrored in the music. There is a surrounding use of ambience, atmosphere, drone and percussion – opening with Into Midnight, the wailing guitar strings are distant to allow a sense of space – it works wonders.
Black Mesa is what Porras describes as a bridge between worlds (as related to string theory or multiverse theory), and it’s somewhere to be found out in the desert. Such a back story has enabled Porras to create a widescreen narrative and in turn create a beautifully wandering set. These guitars shimmer in the magnified solitude the desert offers. You can see their reflection in the mirage, they fade as subtlety as they appear.
Desert Flight manages to merge slightly delayed strums with circling synths, it becomes hypnotic yet remains in the realm of the story – as does every minute of every track here. Such personality is why Porras succeeds, this isn’t just another drone record – we are sent into the abyss by his sounds, textures and multiple tones.
The title track indeed feels like the pinnacle, almost like a shaman ritual with its distorted narrative and beating tambourine. Drone music with such a definite personality is a rare find, but Porras has found it, creating something rather special in the process.