Tyler Durham is best known for scoring film and games. His latest project is Limina, and Hidden Spaces is a 12-inch vinyl EP. Recorded over the course of May to July 2020 (in other words, during the most unsettled portion of the pandemic era), the six tracks are designed by the creator as an immersive experience, designed to be taken as a whole.
Pigeonholing this music isn’t easy: unsurprisingly in light of Durham’s day job (so to speak), the music is lush and emotive, emotionally manipulative in the best sense of the phrase. It takes the listener on a journey, but it’s neither unsettling nor jarring. This isn’t quite ambient or new age music, because within the arrangements you’ll find compelling melodic ideas. Much of the music was undoubtedly realized on keyboards, but the tools used to make Hidden Spaces are ultimately less important than the end result. And that result is a thing of beauty. And the payoff comes at the end: the final track, “Enlighten” rises and soars; so will your spirits when you listen to it.
Of course, if one has the vinyl configuration, the all-at-once concept is interrupted by the task of flipping the record over to the second side. But in actual practice, the three songs on Side One flow together, and the three on the flip demonstrate a different quality, holding together themselves. So best to think of Hidden Spaces as not one but two immersions into Tyler Durham’s world of sonic beauty. Perhaps it was intended as a palliative to the viscerally disruptive nature of 2020, but it’s worth hearing any time one needs to clear a space inside one’s head.