Broken Harbour, the recording pseudonym of Canada’s Blake Gibson, explores the stillness of seclusion with his debut self-titled record. An exercise in silence and distance as much as it is in drone and noise, Broken Harbour is a creation that forms and dissipates like a cluster of gas in the outer reaches of the universe.
Like casting off into a vast sea of nothingness, the five tracks flee convention and structure in favour of the greener pastures of artistic expression and ultimate defiance.
It’s easy to flippantly describe ambient and drone music as sound that simply floats, but something about Gibson’s Broken Harbour seems darker and denser. There is progress to the sound, soft comfort in the noise, and the record’s measured, arcane intention never loses its footing. Spellbinding and yet utterly remote, Broken Harbour is compelling.
Gibson’s affinity for the world “out there” is abundantly clear. Using synthetic sources, real time performances and sound samples, Broken Harbour is the intricate apex of many nights of stargazing and countless days of endless pondering.
The record took nearly a year to put together and, with a highly-delayed release, stands as a testimony to the determination of one artist to simply get things right. There is principle, intention and care in every carefully-built instant of sound.
Some albums feature standout tracks that deserve closer glances, while others function much better as a whole. Broken Harbour is the latter, a flowing and artful recording with designs of full, rich listening. The recommendation for ideal listening conditions featured on the promo’s sleeve is no accident, as the capacity and intensity of sound almost requires a stereo equipped with a subwoofer or, at the very least, a decent pair of headphones.
The quintet of tracks featured here contains sound of evolving splendour, evocative authenticity and heavenly vitality. As Gibson places each portion where it should be, a sense of weightlessness infuses the music and sends it soaring.
Broken Harbour deserves full, upright attention. The world of Canadian drone may not be as well-known as it should be, but if Blake Gibson has anything to say about it, we’ll be hearing dynamic, transcendent noise from the Great White North for years to come.
You can purchase Broken Harbour exclusively from Gibson's website.