Minorarc – ‘Inclusions’

A diversely atmospheric rock sound permeates Inclusions, the most recent album from Australian artist Minorarc. From serenely introspective guitar murmurs to frolicking piano effervescence, Inclusions showcases a riveting blend of classical, prog-rock, and electronic influences.

The project represents the music of Ivan Bullock, a native of Canberra, Australia. After relocating to Tokyo in the late 1990s, he founded the solo music project Mystral Tide, experimenting with electronic and industrial music. Later, he returned to Australia to foster a community of independent musicians through projects like DEMUS and Darkstereo. His recent work under the name Minorarc includes the concept albums Untold and Overburden, both exploring themes of loss and urban decay. Inclusions is his latest release.

“A Drizzle’s Vagrant I” opens the album with immersive atmospheric eeriness. Piano tones range from dexterous prancing to ominous trickles, complemented by glimpses of strings and choral wordless vocals. The pounding piano and chilly strings create a gripping sense of unease from the get-go, showcasing Bullock’s clear grasp of atmospheric ability.

“Seven Times Burnt” follows with a 7-minute epic that highlights the project’s fantastic guitar integrations. Like the opener’s dynamic piano work, the guitars on “Seven Times Burnt” impress with their tonal range—from quaint flickering to venomous heavy distortion. The opening one-two punch of Inclusions makes a strong impression with its eclectic structural and tonal shifts.

Crackling guitar distortion plays a compelling rhythmic role on the ensuing “Meet the Blade,” evolving into dreamier guitar tones and strings. This track’s structural evolution provides a satisfying middle ground, tonally, between the first two tracks. “Three Times” is similarly successful, incorporating brief spacious interludes at mid-point as slabs of distortion combine with elegant piano engagement; the momentum throughout is palpable.

One of the most memorable moments, on an album full of them, comes on “Triclinic.” Brisk guitar twangs at the mid-point assemble into glistening piano reflections, showcasing the band’s penchant for climactic structural intrigue. This track, like the rest of Inclusions, highlights intriguing soundscapes and quality songwriting.

“Seven Times Burnt” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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