With As Above, So Below, Dr. Doctor closes 2017 with a curious and esoteric album of modern electronica, to quote the hermetic motto.
Starting off this 11-track long player, 'Into the Deep' is a heady synth affair that drags the listener deeper into layers of processed sound and drifting melody. Building up gently, the sparseness of the drum programming, coupled with layers of arpeggioed ambience, start things off at a laid-back pace. However, as the release progresses, the mellowness of the first four tracks shifts to a darker, acidic sound, with rapid, dense drum work filling out the middle of the album. Dr. Doctor tweaks his synthesisers with precision, producing large, lush sounds, as well as arp-y twists and chirps.
Among the carefully constructed compositions on As Above, So Below, the atmospheric darkness of 'Eternal Struggle' really stands out. The punchy groove then makes way for 'Interlude ii', which sets a different tone for the remainder of the record, with the last tracks calling to mind a few electronica and psychedelic rock classics that have managed to withstand years, even decades, of radio play.
The album closes with 'Refraction', characterised by joyously filtered drum movements and warm electronic instruments that draw comparisons to the best-of moments from chilled-out trip-hop, such as Bonobo and Plaid.
With a developed ear for audio production and songwriting, the warmness of this album only leaves one wanting to hear more emotional and human influences, such as singing or vocal samples. While we wait to see what human treatments that Dr. Doctor can provide on his next release, with the esoteric inspiration and the evocative sound, this LP could aid as a spiritual guide to linking our micro-cosmos with the macro-cosmos.
Released December 1, 2017