メディカル – Coma
Coma is the debut full-length by 2047 (co-creator of BLCR Laboratories) under the メディカル1 moniker, which shares thematic similarities with the artist’s Acid Medical label. Anyone who’s heard of メディカル or 2047’s main output may expect similar soporific drone music. The theme of the メディカル albums is sedation – both in the medical aspect and in the sense of metaphorically sedating the listener through sound – and Coma is the first in a line of successes. As with other projects released through Acid Medical (of which Coma may be seen as sort of a trial run for the aesthetic), tracks are short micro-drones or extremely long mega-drones with nothing in between. The shortest track on Coma is six seconds long; the longest is over thirty-four minutes and takes up 70 percent of the total run-time.
The medical aesthetic is front-and-center with Coma. The album artwork depicts medical instruments and dispenser cups that are ostensibly hooked up to a coma patient, quite different from the vaguely erotic nurses on the cover of UNDERDOSE. It begins with the beeps of a heart monitor that flatlines at the end of “Dextrose”. Each of the four drones are named after medically-appropriate and relatively common chemicals that one might administer to a patient. “Dextrose” is a saccharide, “Naloxone” is an opioid blocker, “Flumazenil” is a benzo antagonist, and “Thiamine” is a major vitamin.
The musical content of Coma is soft and relaxing; as with UNDERDOSE, this album evokes the dyschronometria that accompanies the state of mindlessness impressed by heavy drugs or unconsciousness. Songs are composed of the vaguest of piano chords with small glitches attached to each new sound, as best heard on the first few milliseconds of each chord on “Naloxone”. “Flumazenil” has stutter chords that were the main compositional element to gorepup’s “Rose” off of animal crossing.2 Coma is incredibly calming to the extent of Brian Eno’s Music for Airports,3 and it’s nearly as sterile. Recommended if you plan on edging the pale any time soon.
1. Room 406 – (0:06)
2. Dextrose – (2:17)
3. Naloxone – (1:50)
4. Flumazenil – (34:54)
5. Thiamine – (9:56)
6. Awake – (0:30)
1Japanese translation: “Medical”
2The first Acid Medical release.
3Yeah, I know, this album gets mentioned pretty frequently on reviews of drone albums, but it’s such a good example for these kinds of releases.