Itching For More: t- e ni hтm-are of·`a c ty

Every Wednesday, apart from the past month (gee, thanks hiatus), even if it is unusually warm for December, Itching For More shall emerge from its cocoon, like a gross moth, ready to eat away at your eyes. This week, Nightmare simulator: t- e ni hтm-are of·`a c ty

When I was younger, I used to have a recurring nightmare. I was running through a city, of tall skyscrapers, each lit up, each rising high into the night sky. As I ran, a tall shadowy figure chased me — wearing a large grey trenchcoat, with the collar turned up and a Fedora, casting a large shadow over his face, leaving only his eyes visible.

This man wanted to kill me.

As I ran through the city, I eventually found a skyscraper whose door was left ajar. Racing into it and up several flights of dark, grey, concrete stairs I entered a flat and hid in the nearest wardrobe, breathing hard. The nightmare always ended when my pursuer placed one foot into the doorway of the flat, eyes glinting.

The city, in Pol Clarissou’s “t- e ni hтm-are of·`a c ty” (from The Ambient Mixtape 16) is the city from my nightmare. Tall buildings looming over you on a dark night, cars screeching by, strange noises and shadows haunt every corner. Clarrisou’s city is one of purple buildings, lit up by yellow windows, with the occasional red highlight.

The City moves as you move. It glitches, popping and distorting, detailed textures becoming tiny resolutions, camera slowly rotating, horizontal planes morphing into diagonals, thin detailed buildings becoming an amorphous breathing mess of colours and lines, noise washing over the screen.

On top of all the visual distortion, a subtle sound design brings the city alive, giving it motion and feeling, the water below you splashing as you walk, constant rainfall, combining with a low hum create an ominous atmosphere. This City has a partial reflection on the floor, doubling the confusion.

Through all its effects, its visual distortion, its reflections and soundscape, its infinite loop, “t- e ni hтm-are of·`a c ty” (or, the nightmare of a city i thought i knew) effectively conveys the effect of being somewhere unknown. Places you once thought you knew distort and transform, becoming other worlds. Roads become pavements, every corner and alleyway becomes suspicious, as somewhere safe and known transforms and contorts into a monster of anxiety as you walk in circles, jumping more and more, working yourself into a frenzy until you run for cover, back into the closest metro entrance, back to safety.

t- e ni hтm-are of·`a c ty, is a city envisioned as a nightmare — huge, unknown, identityless and landmarkless, full of buildings ready to topple and cars ready to mow you down.

t- e ni hтm-are of·`a c ty is pay-what-you-want, available to download here

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