Standout Track: No. 1, “(Deep) End,” from Cimmerian, the simmering debut cassette from No Paris. The electronic avant-garde/experimental project comes from Woodley Park resident Sean Gray, 30, who runs the DIY labels Fan Death and Accidental Guest. Ambient and wordless, “(Deep) End” plays like a brooding, pulsating score, swelling to a climax that never comes.
Musical Motivation: “The cassette is loosely based off of someone I knew who lost someone close to them, but it was for the better,” Gray says. Using a dark and ethereal soundscape, he wanted to “explain [loss] in an abstract way and push limits in terms of how we can communicate those experiences and feelings.”
Beep Space: Gray says he aimed to craft “a song that was aggressive but wasn’t alienating.” This one drums up some uncomfortable feelings, but only because its sheer minimalism can be anxiety-inducing. It also was supposed to sit at the end of Gray’s tape, but it wound up at the start of his journey into the abyss. It’s a journey that’s rarely easy, but never tiring: “(Deep) End” wraps up in about five minutes. “It would have been easy to make longer songs and really expand,” Gray says, “but I wanted to go easy on the listener. I didn’t want to exhaust them.”
Listen to “(Deep) End” after the jump.