Shedir - Finite Infinity [Cyclic Law - 2020]Shedir is the brainchild of Italian Martina Betti, who since 2017 has been creating ambient-oriented music. In total, the project has two album to it's- 2017s Falling Time- released by the German label Cyclic Law. It was followed by after a three-year break, with the album to hand 2020s Finite Infinity- it was released in CD and digital format.
The album cover is a very professionally made art photo. It depicts a naked, sexless figure with female features. The figure, wrapped in a flowing light translucent cloth, hovers against the background of a dark corridor with arches. From above, rays of pale light descend onto the figure. On the right, in the darkest part of the cover, there is the projects name, made in a slightly modified classic white font. Below this is the title of the album, written in simple white lowercase letters and written together. The project name and album name are arranged vertically, letters are located at their top to the right. The overall tone of the cover is muted, ghostly colours in pastel shades. I believe this is a very successful art and design work with powerful energy and atmosphere. Intriguing and sad at the same time, this work reminded me of some of the covers for the likes of Sopor Aeternus & The Ensemble Of Shadows.
The album is just over thirty-eight minutes long and consists of eight tracks of varying length. With Finite Infinity Martina Betti presents the listener with a very atmospheric and deep ambient, filled with different sound structures flowing into one another. Synthesizer sounds, generously processed with various effects, create a moving wall of sound, which is sometimes interspersed with noise and industrial elements, as well as fragments of field recordings. It is these unexpected elements that attract the listener in since the main sound is atmospheric ambient. At first glance, it may seem that the tracks lack structure, but I can hear rather clear compositionality, albeit with a great deal of improvisation. I think that the most similar projects, to which I could compare Shedir , are Raison D'Etre and Desiderii Marginis. But, unlike these projects, Martina Betti makes a lighter and more airy sound, not so dark and oppressive. However, some fragments of her compositions are rather disturbing. Overall, I liked Finite Infinity, but I would like to point out a couple of controversial points for me. One of those moments is the use of a rhythm line in the sixth track called "Quickly Blood". In general, I like it when musicians enrich the ambient with drum parts. But in this case, the rhythmic line is clearly a nod towards more commercial projects such as Enigma, Era and Gregorian. To me, this seemed a little out of place and secondary. It also felt to me that in the second part of the album, the compositions became less expressive, as if Betti was a little tired and recorded them by inertia. I do not know what this may be connected with. Perhaps this is just my imagination. Nevertheless, these two factors played a role in the evaluation of the album.
In my opinion, Finite Infinity is a professional and atmospheric ambient album, not distinguished by great originality, but with some interesting sound ideas, as well as some controversial points. But, I feel that album will be of interest to many fans of atmospheric Ambient, who will determine for themselves their attitude to the album. For my part, I'll follow the futures work of Martina Betti, because I believe she has great potential.Sergey Pakhomov