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Synth EP Review: "Oubliette" by Sewnshut

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Sewnshut’s Oubliette is full of unique explorations into the full range of emotions and sensations that synthesized sounds can create. There’s a definite experimental edge to the tracks, but I was still able to engage with them and enjoy the sonic landscape Sewnshut creates.

"Dawnknell" breathes to life with soft static and metallic sounds that begin to form a mechanized beat with rough edges and a steady pulse. There’s something worrying about the high sounds of the roaming line of synth with a cutting edge.

It wanders over the underlying jagged throb of sound. Another medium-high, distorted and nasal synth also roves and wriggles over the broken, dark landscape underneath it. Everything on this track feels unsettled and off kilter.

Gentle washes of pastel synth are pierced by a steady sonar “bleep” as “Absentience” begins. Warm chords drift upwards underneath the soft sounds and a hollow, deep drum moves into the music with an uneven pulse.

The delicate gauze of sound keeps flowing onward as the beat becomes more defined. The deep drum throb adds weight to everything and still the ethereal drift of sound moves around it. This piece has an anchored ambience to it.

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“Impasse” starts with a round string-like sound moving over glitchy, slightly harsh synth that shifts underneath it. The beat starts to pulse into the music while a mournful feeling, steady synth moves to fill out the background.

Metallic sounds lightly brush over the music while in the background that round synth drifts gently through and an edgier sonic pulse shifts while the beat shapes the flowing soundscape around it, a whole series of sounds interlocking and interacting.

Deep, resonant, vibrating percussion is pierced by higher sounds that cut in over the stuttering synth pattern to kick off “Painwise.” The pattern coalesces, all of the sonic elements locked together by the harsh synth pulse which the drums follow.

A gentle, thready synth plays a diaphanous melody and high squeals of sound briefly touch the music. This track is minimalist and spare, generating a cool sonic landscape with only a hint of faint gentle sound floating in the background.

"Porcelain Blinds" begins with slightly tense chiming sounds that grow together as a watery bubble of sound moves along with them. A distant sound that resembles a fuzzed-out piano plays dark chorus and the percolating, vaguely aquatic pattern is joined by the pulsation of distant drums.

Twisting sounds move distantly in the background, writhing together as that lost feeling beat keeps moving on behind them. This track feels like it’s something heard from far away, a backdrop to a surreal and unsettling dream.

A computerized sounding, elevated synth flows into the beginning of “Memento” as open, hollow drums begins to touch the music and a vibrating, shadowy sound echoes and reverberates through the track. The solid throb of the drumbeat keeps moving under the whorls of sound winding around one another. A pulse of rougher-edged sound continues to drift through as the heavy hollow drums are sliced by a sharp edge of high synth that moves in and out of the track.

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