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One-woman soundscape artist Abby Helasdottir from Wellington, New Zealand creates music self-described as “dark ambience for dark goddesses”.

Gydja’s (Norwegian for “Priestess”) most recent recording is on Gears of Sand called “Machina Mundi”. It apparently evokes the spirit of weather and plant life. There is also “Umbilicus Maris” on Mystery Sea and others.

“Umbilicus Maris” truly is the perfect imaginary soundtrack to aquatic spelunking in Mexico. It’s “dark” only in that you can’t see that well, but the tones and the nature of the disc is really quite warm. Underground rivers on the Yucatán maintain a temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) year-round. I’m not saying that Abby Helasdottir was going for 76-degree water with this recording, but even if you’re staring into the dark abyss, it’s much more comfortable if the water is warm. The disc is akin to drifting underground and discovering a plethora of iridescent petroglyphs that animate in a slow dancing story of an unrecorded civilization. Gurgling swaths of reverb use the water’s reflection to paint images on the cave’s ceiling, while prismatic droplets drip from glowing stalactites with beating hearts from an ice age still encased inside.

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