Aarktica: In Sea (recent reviews)

This is the solo project of Jon DeRosa and is new to the pages of Gothic Paradise.  This album is released on Silber Records and features a dozen ambient, mostly instrumental tracks. It’s a great introduction for me and probably for many listeners and readers on Gothic Paradise, though his influences range through many of the legendary gothic bands from Joy Division to Lycia.
The album starts out with building ambient-structured shoegazer guitar on “I Am (The Ice)” which builds and flows right into “LYMZ”, another dreamy ambient piece that slowly moves along and fades away. That brings us to the highlight of the album “Hollow Earth Theory”. This melancholy piece features great brooding guitar and other ethereal elements which provide the backdrop for the somber vocals. The music is much the same style of dreamy, subtle shoegazer ambient, but the vocals give it a new depth and meaning, making it that much more interesting and enjoyable. Though the music on much of the album is as dreamy or captivating, the combination of all of these elements and the vocals help to bring it around as a highlight on this album.
As we move on through the remaining tracks the music ebbs and flows, sometimes slow and haunting, but always dreamy. The cold moods of “A Plague of Frost” become lifelike through the ambient textures, and the title tracks brings out more of the ethereal shoegaze guitar sounds that are hauntingly beautiful. This builds up even more on “Onward!”, much in the style of the previously mentioned vocal track “Hollow Earth Theory”, but it remains ambient and dreamy, leaving the listener to use their own imagination rather than vocals. “Young Light” builds even more and with the uptempo guitar rhythms I kept expecting to hear vocals, but once again the instruments bring their own life to this piece, more subtly on “Autumnal” and down through the haunting soundscapes of “Corpse Reviver No. 2″. A bit of ambient noise sort of comes out of nowhere on “Instill”, but gradually fades into the dreamy piece “When We’re Ghosts”. This latter piece is another favorite instrumental track where the various guitars build layer upon layer into a sort of aural assault and setting the stage for the finale to the album. This final piece is the cover of Danzig’s piece “Am I Demon?” which is the only other vocal selection on the disc. As mentioned this is a perfect finale to this album with it’s melancholy tones and dreamy ambient soundscapes.
I think this is a great album for fans of the softer ambient styles, for those that enjoy instrumentals as much as vocal pieces as well as some small experimental elements. Go out and grab it and enjoy it on those gray, rainy days.
~ Gothic Paradise

Highly recommending Aarktica to fans of Stars of the Lid would be the quickest route to success for both potential listeners and the band alike. In Sea is (primarily) a drone record whose production is as good (if not better) than its compositions, and in this style, that’s as important as anything.
In Sea’s tones are rich and resound with pleasant reverberation. The frequencies make for the intended blissful drift into melancholic happiness.
Now, if we’re actually comparing Aarktica and Stars of the Lid, Aarktica is less of an enveloping drone that is a constant bittersweet flow, instead relying more remarkably on the decaying tones of reverberant notes, most notably of a piano.
Perhaps a more apt comparison is to Stars of the Lid’s side project The Dead Texan, which comes to mind mostly because of the couple tracks on In Sea that are actual songs with veritable singing. Compared to The Dead Texan, however, the singing isn’t something you wished would have been left off the record. With that said, it isn’t the best element of In Sea; that it mixes the album up successfully or detracts from its main motif are debatable. The last track is worth mentioning here, being a cover of Danzig’s “Am I Demon?” which, although we’ve never heard the original, is interesting enough that we’d want to, and are sure it sounds pretty different.
Good drone records don’t warrant lots of analysis, as their success lies on a relatively few elements to success. Aarktica is a highly successful drone record, being one actually played by its members, with excellent compositions, and more importantly, excellent sound.
~ Roberto Martinelli, Maelstrom

Jon DeRosa got some fame through his involvement in Dead Leaves Rising. When setting up his solo-project Aarktica in the late 90s he found an outlet for his own musical ideas. He now strikes back with a 6th full length album under the Aarktica moniker. DeRosa invites us to visit a kind of astral soundscape style composed with guitar, bass, pump organ and vocals. The guitar was used more as an effect than a real instrument making the particular and ambient sound of his album. It’s quite fascinating to hear the way his songs move from a rather quiet and prosper style (cf. “I Am (The Ice)”, “Lymz”) to darker territories (cf. “A Plague Of Frost (In The Guise Of Diamonds)”. Guitar and ambient music isn’t innovative at all, but musicians like Jon DeRosa sound more talented with this kind of experiment. We definitely can speak about experimentation, but the way it has been conceived and worked out results in a quite coherent and easy listening experience. A few vocals lines are injecting an extra layer to the songs. Among the track list, I have to recommend “Young Light” and the ultra quiet sounding “Am I Demon?” as the most noticeable pieces. “Young Light” left me rather perplexed for the kind of ‘U2 goes ambient’-style. “Am I Demon?” is a cover version of a Danzig-song where the original song seems to have been considerably transposed into the Aarktica style. “In Sea” is a noticeable release for the lovers of soundscapes and other experimental-ambient stuff.
~ Side-Line

Twelve songs make up the sixth album by NYC artist, Jon DeRosa, which, with its title already winking in the direction of Terry Riley’s own fantastic In C, stokes a similar furnace of cyclical melodies in terrain otherwise not so far removed from the tundras previously explored by Labradford and Mogwai. Whilst a little moodiness creeps in from time to time, most of these songs remain gently atmospheric, with drifts of melancholy fleshing out the proceedings accordingly. Using only guitars and a Bilhorn Telescopic Pump Organ, DeRosa weaves beautiful textural swells together with the kind of dimly-lit corners reserved for both contemplation and bittersweet pontifications. Occasionally, vocals lend a rather more traditional or accessible edge to these pieces, such as on the neatly titled ‘Hollow Earth Theory’, whilst the final cut, ‘Am I Demon?’ is a cover of a Danzig song so tempered it sounds more like something The Chameleons would’ve written. But, overall, the plaintive furrows express a sense of yearning for both times lost and better things to come (due, I’m sure, to DeRosa’s having lost his hearing in one ear a number of years ago), plus display a versatility often missing in such music.
All told, In Sea is a fine and solid enough entry in the post-rock canon, whether it desires to be or not, although I can’t help but ultimately feel this approach to songwriting usually makes it sound old and weary before its time.
~ Richard Johnson, Adverse Effect

I had no clue how prolific Jon DeRosa is before falling for In Sea, but in addition to his ambient project for the under-appreciated Silber Records, he also dabbles in chamber pop, acoustic folk and country in Flare, Dead Leaves Rising and Pale Horse and Rider respectively. And to top it off, he’s been recording as Aarktica for over a decade now. Slept on him in the past, but definitely made a 2010 resolution to do so no longer.
~ Ear to the Sound

What if you made a classic record and no-one heard it? What if you made a bunch of them? At least Jon DeRosa’s 2000 debut as Aarktica, the very fine indeed No Solace in
Sleep, was relatively acclaimed. That album is certainly striking, given that DeRosa was struggling to cope with the “underwater” experience and auditory hallucinations brought on by the permanent, nerve damage-inflicted loss of hearing in his right ear. Even better was his 2002 contribution to Darla Records’ Bliss Out series, …Or You Could Just Go Through Your Whole Life and Be Happy Anyway. Moving away from the glacial, droning guitar ambience that’s either DeRosa’s specialty or cross to bear, that album saw him embracing electronics and song structure to the same ends as his more expressly ambient albums.
Aarktica’s music has ploughed the fertile grounds between those two poles ever since, but 2009′s In Sea (yes, a pun on Terry Riley’s seminal In C; DeRosa also names a track after his teachers LaMonte Young and Marian Zazeela while we’re playing inside baseball) marks the starkest Aarktica LP since No Solace in Sleep, and maybe the best one he’s ever done.
This time it’s just DeRosa, some guitars, something called a Bilhorn Telescopic Pump Organ, and a lot of time and space. It’s amazing what he can conjure up with such basic ingredients: “Young Light” is as surgingly optimistic as “Corpse Reviver No. 2″ is quietly mournful as “When We’re Ghosts” is contorted with remorse as “I Am (The Ice)” is majestically remote, and so on. The two vocal tracks here should be the easiest to parse, but the closing cover of Danzig’s “Am I Demon?” transmutes a song that was, frankly, kind of silly into something genuinely sobering in its self-examination, and the lovely “Hollow Earth Theory” makes a narrative out of retreat, both sonic (those unwinding, reversed guitar lines) and lyrically (it’s almost entirely about withholding judgment). Both songs are welcome additions, but they function almost as signposts sticking out of the wintry bulk of In Sea, a little something to help you get your bearings.
For the most part, you’re instead confronted with marvels like the eight minutes of “A Plague of Frost (In the Guise of Diamonds),” DeRosa’s best approximation of what it’s like to be inside of his head. That proves to be a disorienting but strangely peaceful place, although unlike DeRosa the listener always has the option of turning In Sea off. As good as the graceful arc of this album’s gentler tracks are, it’s a good thing that DeRosa varies things more than he has in the past, with the shorter, punchier “Onward!” and “Young Light” marking out territory somewhere between the brighter sides of Eluvium and the Durutti Column. The result is both a kind of clearinghouse of what DeRosa can do and a masterclass in why he’s great. Now people just need to start paying attention.
~ Ian Mathers, Resident Advisor

This release from 2009 features 56 minutes of guitar ambience.
Aarktica is Jon DeRosa on guitar, bass, pump organ, and vocals.
A variety of guitar impressions are used to achieve a gentle ambience. Some of these sounds stand alone with minimal embellishment, while others are conjunctive, meshing together to form layered auralscapes.
Delicate guitar stylings are created in which the chords cascade over each other in a waterfall of softly glistening sound, the notes losing their individuality and forming a fluid presence.
Sustained guitar is relegated to form an infinite expanse of somber vapor. Or becomes processed until the strings lose their stringed identity and flow like a sluggish fluid. These evocations bend and sway to generate immobilized movement. Often, mellow chords unfurl to form secondary layers that lend gentle passion to the flow.
Sometimes the guitar achieves an intensity that is jarring but remains languid.
The soft resonance of a pump organ is manipulated so tenuously that its issue oozes forth in limitless sighs. This type of mellifluous pulsation serves as a frequent environment through which guitar stylings slither.
In two instances, a guitar is strummed in a conventional manner, releasing vibrant chords that pull at the heart in tandem with melancholic crooning.
In another track, a bass supplies the source for similar (but low) resonance.
These pieces all exhibit a rarefied harmonic substantiality as they describe sparsely melodic compositions. Pensive moments are captured and transformed into delicate snippets of sound which effectively pass along the original contemplative sentiment to the listener.
~ Sonic Curiosities

a.k.a. Brooklyn’s Jon DeRosa with his 6th release–dreamy atmospheric layers of ambient/drone guitar loops seeking hidden realities & inner sanctums. Dark glacial symphonies, lush shimmering soundwaves, and floating shards of minimalist distortion join for a subtle meditative immersion. Combines elements of Eno, Terry Riley, Hood, Robin Guthrie, Sunn O))), Guitar, Phillip Glass, Flying Saucer Attack.
~ Charlie Quaker, The Quaker Goes Deaf

Highly recommending Aarktica to fans of Stars of the Lid would be the quickest route to success for both potential listeners and the band alike. In Sea is (primarily) a drone record whose production is as good as (if not better than) its compositions, and in this style, that’s as important as anything.
In Sea’s tones are rich and resound with pleasant reverberation. The frequencies make for the intended blissful drift into melancholic happiness.
Now, if we’re actually comparing Aarktica and Stars of the Lid, Aarktica is less of an enveloping drone that is a constant bittersweet flow, instead relying more remarkably on the decaying tones of reverberant notes, most notably of a piano.
Perhaps a more apt comparison is to Stars of the Lid’s side project The Dead Texan, which comes to mind mostly because of the couple tracks on In Sea that are actual songs with veritable singing. Compared to The Dead Texan, however, the singing isn’t something you wished would have been left off the record. With that said, it isn’t the best element of In Sea; that it mixes the album up successfully or detracts from its main motif are debatable. The last track is worth mentioning here, being a cover of Danzig’s “Am I Demon?” which, although we’ve never heard the original, is interesting enough that we’d want to, and are sure it sounds pretty different.
Good drone records don’t warrant lots of analysis, as their success lies on a relatively few elements to success. Aarktica is a highly successful drone record, being one actually played by its members, with excellent compositions, and more importantly, excellent sound.
~ Roberto Martinelli, Maelstrom Zine

The key to appreciating Aarktica’s In Sea is aptly reflected in the front cover; you either get it or you don’t. A surrealistic picture of the sea mirrors that of its title, as does the music, giving the album a touch of transcendental appeal. If the first look gives the impression of an underwater experience, you aren’t too far off the mark. It is probably the first step to understanding and appreciating the music produced by Jon DeRosa’s auditory hallucinations, if only on a superficial level. In Sea is to an extent a continuation of his path to rediscovery and inner-peace, to calm the demons brought about by the turbulence earlier in his life.
To define “In Sea” as an album of contentious subjectivity is an extreme understatement. One who does not understand nor appreciate experimental drone music will surely cave in to his personal expectations and prejudices. The same goes for Aarktica’s previous works; a first time listener easily finds himself in a labyrinth of notes and chords, quite unable to make sense of the music that he expects himself to, that he is supposed to. A careless listener struggles to find the difference between the first few songs ‘I Am (The Ice)’, and ‘LYMZ’, crucially not the dissimilarity in notes, but rather the rhythm and purpose of the deep droning sounds of the guitar. It doesn’t help matters that lyrics, the normal route of understanding the meaning of a song and tuning into the frequency created by the artiste, are far and few
between in the album. Only ‘Hollow Earth Theory’ and the replaying of Danzig’s ‘I Am Demon’ offers any semblance of words. Perhaps it is due to this reason that ‘Hollow Earth Theory’ may be the favourite song for most listeners, due to its almost perfect balance of lyrics and tune. Yet that would not be doing justice to the fantastic, thought-provoking work DeRosa and his group has done.
Perhaps the right approach to DeRosa and his music is to close your eyes, and attempt even in its impossibility to dissolve one’s head of all thoughts and emotions. “In Sea” is quite unlike any mainstream or pop culture music; it does not have a definitive thread for one to follow, so to construct a self-made, one would be unraveling the good work of Aarktica. Every song has its own definitive image that forms in one’s mind, a different colour in a different shape, each due its own share of appreciation. For it is not only the notes of the songs, but also the physical vibrations of the different chords, be it musical or vocal, which matter. For example, the album title song ‘In Sea’ paints the picture of a beach, the feeling of riding upon the moving sea, with the occasional gulls in the background. The repetition becomes more of an attempt to translate feeling into music, to bring across the sensation of moving with the waves. The music serenades, relaxes the mind, brings the listener to a different place… on one condition: only if you will let it. Likewise, DeRosa may have similar sentiments, reflected in his latest masterpiece.
~ Ho Jiaxuan, Magmug

This album of starkly beautiful (mostly) guitar tracks is perfect for the darkest time of the year before the sun starts it slow return. Jon DeRosa, the sole person behind this project, lost most of his hearing in his right ear in 1999. Like other musicians who have suffered this, he struggled to come to terms with it. The result was his début “No Solace In Sleep” in 2000. I am familiar with how tragic hearing loss in a musician can be; Jason Diemilio from the Azusa Plane (a friend to many of my friends) took his own life because of his hearing problems. This record marks the sixth release of Jon DeRosa’s career; I am glad he has stayed with us because this is stunning music.
I was only familiar with DeRosa’s work because we both appeared on Silber Comps together. I listened to this album for a long time before I read the press release. I slowly formed my own opinion of the work. I knew it was about loss or mourning, but I did not know about what. When I read it was about Jon’s hearing loss suddenly the album became even more poignant and beautiful. The album title “In Sea” refers to the Terry Riley masterwork “In C.”
The album opens with “I am in Ice” sorrowful tones that move as slowly as snowdrifts across an artic landscape. Layers of guitar build on top of each other, one never overpowering the other. It almost sounds orchestral. It ends with washes of reverb. “LYMZ” is a tribute to his teachers La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela, who helped him overcome his hearing loss by teaching him to develop new ways of hearing via sound vibrations in his instruments & vocal chords.
“Hollow Earth Theory” is the first track album that features Jon’s vocals, which has a sweetly baritone sound. He sings of the Hollow Earth Theory. It is one of the most anthem-ic songs on the album. Soaring vocals and back masked guitars meld into one. It is the “hit” of the record. “A Plauge of Frost (In the Guise of Diamonds)” sends listeners back into the frigid landscape. The title track “In Sea” reminds me of the bedroom minimalism of the early Roy Montgomery sound. Swells of sound and backwards audio build up dense and thick but not overpowering–more like chocolate syrup that has been left out in an unheated car overnight. “Onward” has the feel of “Hallow” strummed Mogwai-esque guitars with soaring tones underneath. Like the best Mogwai, it does not hammer you but waits, and is patient, and gets you with a sucker punch. “Young Light” builds on the energy of “Onward!,” and is even more hopeful. It is one of those great driving tunes that might cause if you to find yourself slowly pushing the gas pedal as you grin like an idiot as the trees and cars fly by. ”Autumnal” seems like another shift in the record. It slows down from the previous two tracks. No longer manic, it seems content. It takes a darker turn on “Corpse Reviver No. 2.”
What is most surprising about this disc is the last song which is a cover of “Danzig.” My house mate in college LOVED Danzig, along with such bands as Type O Negative. We did not see eye to eye musically. Anyways, it will probably shock her to hear me say this, but I kind of dig this Danzig cover. I am not familiar with the original work but Jon’s take on it is admirable.
This disc, while tending slightly to the over droney and ambient, has enough variety and changes of textures to keep things interesting. It never seems indulgent or aimless. It also features a not too shabby pop tune “Hollow Earth Theory” and cover by an artist that I would think that never in a million years I would appreciate, but his take on it works.
~ Dan Cohoon, Amplitude Equals One Over Frequency Squared

The sixth outing from Jon DeRosa’s Aarktica is another spacious and sparse record, an alternate-reality of darkish ambience resulting from hearing loss in one ear, first surfacing on 2000′s No Solace in Sleep. On In Sea, he pays tribute to his mentors, who taught him to rely on physical vibrations of instruments. Unlike some previous recordings, this one is solely guitar and an antique pump organ. DeRosa even sings on “Hollow Earth Theory,” which may have been best saved for a vocals album. An odd choice for a cover, “Am I Demon?” by Danzig, closes the album, Aarktica style. “Onward” and “Young Light” are the centerpiece, directing seagulls across the waters and onto distant shores.
~ Kenyon Hopkin, Advance Copy

Aarktica is a pretty fascinating project; formed in New York by Jon deRosa as a distraction following the loss of hearing in one ear, it takes the notion of altered auditory perception and makes it into an art form. An electronic, droning approach plays devil’s advocate to a warm, guitar-based ambience, tempting the traditional sound over into something quite other to great effect. Largely instrumental, “In Sea” is a diverse and intimate recording, exploratory, unexpected and rich.
You’re used to me picking out the coldest, most terrifying cuts of ambient music, so “In Sea” will be a different experience for all of us, as there’s nary a hint of threat in its duration. Opener “I Am (The Ice)” is imbued with Arctic clarity, that beautiful kind of snowflake-watching ambience, rich but with fragile, ice-form edges, and reminiscent of the Permafrost release I reviewed back towards the beginning of the year. “LYMZ” has a more burning tone, with droning steps leading into a clinical unknown. “Hollow Earth Theory” is the only original track featuring vocals, which, with the dominant guitar, burst through the consciousness after the lulling effect of the preceding compositions, drawing the listener’s attention to the fact that there’s more to Aarktica than glacial calm.
“A Plague of Frost” is majestically slow and distant, playing out subtle stretchings of drones and sounds, whilst the title track brings strumming guitars back to the foreground, interlacing with the shapes that inhabit the distortion, repetitive yet dreamy and somehow lovely. “Autumnal” is a stand-out track, perfectly titled with its warm acoustic work, whilst “When We’re Ghosts” is more dramatic, with echoing guitar building up momentum until crashing chords shatter the impetus, and the thread breaks down into a looping swirl. “Am I Demon?” is DeRosa’s own by merit of his creative re-imagining of how it should go, and his velvety vocal.
“In Sea” moves between different feelings, but with no hurry. It’s constructed wi
th the lightest of touches, but manages to move you on a deep, resonant level; today I find it blissful and relaxing but there are dark, blue spaces between sounds in which to feel melancholy as well. Although the tracks are easily followed, they’re never exactly linear, with more than one ‘thread’ of sound always working just nearly in tandem with others. A very different listening experience for you all, and something of a treasure.
~ Ellen Simpson, Hierophant Nox

Intelligent dreamwave ambientalia—slow, fog-beshrouded, creeping—suffuses and dominates Aarktika’s sixth long-form release In Sea, the title an ironic homage to Terry Riley, one of the prime fathers of modern music (a thematic extended in LYMZ, named after Lamont Young & Marian Zazeela, Jon DeRosa’s [Aarktika's] teachers), but that mode is just one of several kindred. Hollow, for instance, is a combination of Sensation’s Fix, Sigur Ros, and mellowsided Bond Berglund.
DeRosa sits within one of the sub-groups in the mode, a klatsch of player-composers heavily favoring processed guitar rather than keyboards but coming up with essentially the same sound. Though that might sound limiting—after all, only six strings, right?—it’s actually expansive, as, within this group’s output, one can detect patches, sounds, and timbres only otherwise available through a Jupiter 6 synth, an instrument devilishly difficult to lay hands on but popular for its pan pots, rather than increment/decrement clickers, and various other features. Whether such musicians choose guitar over keyboards for that reason is up for grabs, but there are other motives as well: envelope advantages (distinctive attack, etc.), tighter control (fingers controlling strings on the fretboard), and other strategies. These things matter in such musics.
The title cut serves as a good center. Spooky, Enoidal (On Land), billowing with gestural swaths and slow splashes, it layers a cinematic painting of mutable shapes, hallucinogenic incidents, repeating patterns, and slowly rising energies. Onward!, on the other hand, defaults back to strums and fingerpicking atop the washes and echoes, leading into the more insistent Young Light. Everything, however, revolves around drones and inchingly progressive rondos nearly frozen. A work of superior discretion, In Sea re-proves Martha Graham’s Rule of One rather nicely.
~ Mark S. Tucker, FAME

Jon DeRosa’s early ’00s approach to minimalist drone was appropriately icy, given the name of his decade spanning project. “I Am (The Ice)” and “LYMZ,” the two tracks that introduce this sixth full-length, return to this core glacial drift with undertones of pipe organ dressed with glittering pinpoints of guitar. On Matchless Years (his 2007 release on Darla), DeRosa had turned towards songs and a familiar early ’90s fuzz/reverb sound that swamped mid-’00s rock. Here, the songs, like “Hollow Earth Theory,” with its simple loops and repeated lyrics, stay within a bubble of austerity. The album succeeds in doing quite a bit with its restricted approach, moving from portentous darkness (“A Plague of Frost”) to bravura reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky (“Young Light”). Doom clutches the last rays of the album with “Corpse Reviver No. 2,” a track that would please Erik Skodvin, and there’s even a bone-dry cover of Danzig’s “Am I Demon?”
~ Eric Hill, Exclaim

Aarktica = ambient galaxy-surfing + strong pop melody + in-the-moment drone. Here the emphasis is on the latter, but don’t overlook the former, either. We’re floating, unmoored. Right away there’s an unmistakable mood: flickering tones with ominous chords beneath. “I Am (The Ice)” is the song title, signifying the ways this album is both personal statement and abstract landscape painting. If “I Am (The Ice)” is the sound of glaciers, spectacular and haunting, “Lymz” goes deeper inside, building a static fog of feeling.
We’re lumbering about in the same territory throughout. “A Plague of Frost (In the Guise of Diamonds)” quietly emulates an isolated mood, as tones shift subtly. The title track “In Sea” (a play, I gather, on Terry Riley’s classic “In C”) is similar but spiky. A guitar string scratching noise becomes the cry of whales or the cutting of frozen water. There’s also occasionally a pop song with the same mood, one that lingers on gorgeously, like “Hollow Earth Theory”, which reminds me of the second Aarktica album, …Or You Could Just Go Through Your Whole Life and Be Happy Anyway.
“Onward!” has a great melody that quietly progresses. “Young Light” is the catchiest pop song of the album, and instrumental. It represents the hopeful side of an album that gets more forceful as it goes. Even a track as downcast as “Corpse Reviver No 2” carries a sense of resolution and anticipation. “When We’re Ghosts” gets a sense of doom from electric-guitar noise bursts, the perfect lead-in to the last track, a cover of Danzig’s “Am I Demon?” which feels both like an exit and a headstrong statement of intent. Beautiful and breathtaking, start to finish.
~ Dave Heaton, Erasing Clouds

Correva l’anno 1998 quando Jon DeRosa imbracciava la chitarra ed iniziava a scrivere e registrare i primi brani a nome Aarktica. Sfortuna vuole che proprio in quel periodo Jon abbia perso completamente l’udito ad un orecchio, situazione che lo costringe in qualche modo a dover re-imparare ad ascoltare la musica, le voci, i suoni. Questa particolare interpretazione del mondo dei suoni, ha indubbiamente condizionato il suo modo di vivere la musica, creando una serie di coincidenze e di incastri che negli anni si sono sviluppati album dopo album fino ad arrivare a questa sesta produzione ‘In Sea’ edita dall’americana Silber records. L’album si muove per la quasi totalità, nei meandri nebbiosi e ipnoticamente confortevoli dell’ambient e della drone music fatta eccezione per due brani che vedono DeRosa alla prova vocale, il risultato è ottimo sopratutto per la rivisitazione dello storico ‘Am I Demon’ dei Danzig. Nel complesso l’album è molto piacevole, rilassante ed il suono globale risulta estremamente potente e curato, in alcuni casi si avvertono echi di post-rock mentre il mantra suggestivo creato dai reverse di chitarra muta la sua forma in continuazione producendosi in sfumature che riportano ad alcuni lavori di Eno.
~ Ultrasonica

Už svým názvem evokuje projekt Jona DeRosy nekonečné zamrzlé scenérie, které hudba Aarktika velmi věrněpřipomíná. Drone ambient tohoto personálně proměnlivého sdružení má hladivější konotace, které nepočítají s rytmy, o to víc si vyhrají s dozvuky desítek kytarových vazeb, které poletují rozsáhle načrtnutým prostorem. Aarktika je i na novém albu In Sea stále svá, kombinuje zpívané shoegaze ukolébavky s nekonečnými statickými instrumentálkami, které mohou připomenout například Stars Of The Lid nebo Sunn O))).
~ Pavel Zelinka, Radio Wave

“In Sea” e’ il sesto full lenght per Aarktica, il progetto creato da Jon DeRosa e all’attivo da quasi dieci anni, un album composto da mille sfumature musicali che compongono un quadro ricco di atmosfere e sonorita’ molto particolari.
La musica di DeRosa fa ricordare a tratti le colonne sonore di Morricone e le atmosfere Ambient del nord Europa , le influenze che si sentono nell’album sono davvero tante e svariate ma la cosa che piu’ spicca e’ la ricerca di suoni che caratterizzino determinate sensazioni come nella opening track “I Am (The Ice)”, che trasporta la mente nei freddi ghiacciai del nord cristallini e puri; sensazione che si prova anche nella track che da il nome all’album “In Sea” dove vi si sentono anche degli accenni che ricordano i rumori dell’oceano. Particolare la cover di Danzig “Am I Demon”, le note leggere di chitarra sono delicate accompagnate da suoni e voce che danno un mood rilassante, in quanto si distanzia davvero parecchio dalla versione originale del pezzo, affrontata un po’ come viaggio spirituale. Molto interessante anche
“Hollow Earth Theory” dove possiamo sentire per la seconda volta la voce sempre molto delicata e rilassante di DeRosa.
Nel totale e’ un album prettamente Ambient e le melodie sono molto rilassanti e leggere senza comunque cadere nel monotono. Per chi non conosce questo genere puo’ essere una buona scoperta (in mezzo a tutto il caos della solita musica elettronica odierna un po’ di atmosfera rilassante fa piacere!) il consiglio e’ di ascoltarlo con calma e lasciarsi trasportare da questo viaggio emozionale.
~ Alone Music

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