Depletion makes music perfect for those winter days when the grey freeze seeps under your skin and into your bones. It’s the work of Gateshead’s Martyn Reid, according to something I wrote three years ago, who has proved expert at shaping grizzly drones that seep like toxic mist through your overcoat. These are sounds stained with the monochrome half-light of a November afternoon in Britain. A soundtrack of pure bathos. Of scrawled shopping lists basking in the muddy puddles of a supermarket car park, of soggy condoms lounging in a litter strewn lay-by, of petrol fumes floating across cracked pavements.
‘Final Expert’ is miserably perfect, obviously, from the dejection of its title through to the grainy heave of its five tracks. These cuts merge just the right degree of drenched-through grumpiness with doses of sonic estrangement to produce a set of sooty, hallucinatory perambulations that move with the velocity of a bus stuck in a city-centre traffic jam. The juddering grind will swathe you in its grey fumes and lull you into stasis. It’ll make you late. Late for work, late for college, late for lunch, late for the childminder. Late for life.
But, in doing so, ‘Final Exit’ also grants you access to a world underneath. The shapes that move and jostle under the skin. The face in the tunnel. The figure in the attic window. Those things that glower the cracks and folds of everyday life, their rhythms at one remove to our fleshy mundane, out of phase and in hidden reverse. They’re not usually detectable, but Depletion acts as a sound mirror for these weird resonances, a lens through which to peer darkly and witness such horrors, such wonders.