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The Seduction of Silence

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Album Review

There's something quite special at work on Steven Hitchell's first solo album. Recording under the name Intrusion and working with the excellent techno-reggae vocalist Paul St. Hilaire on two tracks, Hitchell employs techno, reggae, dub, ambient, and African elements to define a huge and echoey but also warm and welcoming sonic space that changes color and texture somewhat from track to track, but maintains a sense of soft grandeur throughout. On "Montego Bay" a no-nonsense house beat anchors a gently swirling torrent of dubwise sound shards; on "Angel Version," St. Hilaire's voice is nicely complemented by a faux-rainy ambience that somehow manages to sound perfect rather than cheesy; on "Intrusion Dub" the contours of an actual reggae song emerge out of the murky sonic soup and the house-cum-rockers rhythmic throb, complete with an actual chord progression (only two chords, naturally) and shredded wisps of melodica. "Seduction" is more quiet and contemplative than sexy, and the album's final hidden track is ambient in an almost Brian Eno-ish style. The dark and echoey grooves are all grist for the downtempo mill, but there's something more subtle deep in the heart of this music as well — a spirit that is not quite meditative, not quite joyful, not quite explicitly uplifting, but that still somehow communicates all of those things at once.

The Seduction of Silence, Intrusion
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