Review

Submersion

Entrainment

Greyscale • 2023

Greyscale was founded in 2012 as a joint project of producer Grad_U and photographer Rima Prusakova and has since established itself as one of the most trusted labels for ambient and dub techno worldwide. Having already gained noticeable momentum in 2019, the duo released an almost innumerable amount of mainly digital releases from the beginning of the pandemic. Almost 140 different releases have been released through Greyscale in the past eleven or, above all, the past four years. The label’s album series, however, is not quite as extensive. This is now changing with »Entrainment«, the 19th solo album by US producer Justin Francazio under the pseudonym Submersion and the tenth full-length LP on Greyscale.

The first three of these five tracks each fill one side of a vinyl record, meaning that the sound is allowed to unfold under its own terms. Which is precisely what it does, or rather what its producer is doing. Francazio arranges diffuse yet imposing clouds of sound like a landscape architect arranges hedges: they form shapes that hold the eye or, in this case, the ear, and provide immense spatial depth. Kick drums also play a role in his take on the ambient dub techno aesthetic, forming the pulse of this music and reminding us that even on this album, time runs in regular courses. It doesn’t feel like it really does throughout these almost 57 minutes that could easily be hours. Although Greyscale sets an almost frightening pace as a label, aesthetically it is a resting place, a bastion of slowness. Hardly anyone nails this poetology in such a concise and yet wide-reaching way as Submersion with this overwhelmingly beautiful album.