Picture Ann is a parallel project to the Danish one-man-band Sagntid, and this is its second release. The project's previous release is the full-lenght album "Blaspheme 2009," which I haven't heard as of yet. "Cinema Screen Sadism" is currently (02 / 2011) available for free streaming at the artist's homepage.
The opening song is a calm mixture of gentle bits of piano melodies, atmospheric synth ambient, more dominant resonating electic guitars and low, spoken male vocals. The song doesn't have a strict structure, it moreso flows forward in a relaxed vein, led by its short and repeating guitar melodies. The low spoken vocals are pretty high in the mix, but it helps them to power up some parts. The highly atmospheric field recording samples really do wonders for the atmosphere as well by making the track sound more natural.
The follow-up "Gasmask Ballet" picks up from where the opener left off, but employs a harsher and heavier electric guitar sound. Although the guitar doesn't sound as good as on the previous track, the heaviness brings a nice change to the soundscape and thus the guitar's dull sound works to the EPs favour. Luckily it's used only in some parts of the track instead of it serving as a constant element.
The EP has a really nice flow and the two tracks come together pretty much seamlessly, from the opener's calmness into the slightly more rugged world of song two. Still, I can easily say the artist could do better than this. The songs drift forward, leaving little memory trail of themselves, and consist of rather usual and even safe compositional solutions; simple and repeating melodies with some echo can easily create atmosphere, but begin to sound dull after a few spins. The low whispers don't sound natural when they're so loud on top of all the calm atmosphere, and add nothing to the compositional side. "Film Widow" is the winner of these two with its more peaceful approach, whereas its follow-up takes fatal damage from its cruder structure and heavier sound revealing its compositional weaknesses.
It's a simple fact that the itch to listen to this kind of music tends to come with the assumption of the release lasting for way longer than nine minutes, which more or less makes this release a mere teaser. It shows that the artist seems to have some pleasing ideas, though, and his way of teaming up the calmer guitars, piano notes and samples sounds pretty good; it just would have to be done in a more intriguing and daring way instead of settling for the most traditional approaches.