Breaking Day is the second full-length album from Cleared, the Chicago-based duo of Steven Hess and Michael Vallera. While their self-titled debut album (Immune 014, Jan 2011) found the duo exploring themes of stasis and texture, Breaking Day represents a huge development in the scope and overall style of the project. Where previous material had been slowly assembled from dozens of individual recordings and experiments, this new collection of songs was born from the raw documentation of Clearedâ€™s live performance in the studio. Elements of noise, drone, and psychedelia are filtered through a dark, unifying lens that ranges from relentless rhythmic assault to monolithic tonal sculpture. Dueling rhythms of drums and sampled percussion, walls of undulating soundscapes, and hypnotic guitar are deployed with heightened intensity and force. If Clearedâ€™s first record presented a frozen, gray-washed realm of ambient sound, Breaking Day represents its inverse: A blackened subterranean space of alien movement and activity; a premonition of an assault from the unknown.
Anthropological audiophiles feared that all forms of smouldered geometric sound magic had died away when Europeans reached far in to the desert wilderness of western America. Although this sand based kahuna was never officially outlawed, the decline of native culture saw many forms of sonic sorcery die out as the acoustic conjurers were unable to pass on their wisdom to new aural apprentices.