Music Reviews

Artist: fatagaga
Title: Laudanum Vol. 3
Format: CD
Label: Satori Hype Records (@)
Rated: *****
Haunting and brooding dark ambient offering from Germany's fatagaga, third in a series named after that famous, delicious, opium-laced drink. It's a great, slow-moving, continuous wall of sound that breaks things up by jumping to a rhythm track in places, but is somehow a bit predictable and lacks an essential element of "surprise." Think of Richard H. Kirk teaming up with Hungry Ghost and you'll get an idea of the overall sound.

The review copy came without any CD packaging (the main run is a limited edition of 250, and strangely enough it is now also available in a box set with Vols. 1 and 2). All that was provided was a 3.5"-by-4" slip of paper with a yet elegant and apt description of the music (which can be read from the Satori Hype website): "Laudanum Vol. 3 is about dirt. The end of longing for pure Mother Nature...Old men burn garbage in back alleys...Lichens on the walls. Crooked, windblown scarecrows. Monocultures. A dead dog in the bushes. [etc]." A suggestion: an ambient release shouldn't need a verbal description at all, for the listener to get what's going on in the music. The CD artwork usually does help set the mood, and since it's missing in this case (it can also be viewed on their website, but at such very low resolution that the printed text is illegible), Vol. 3 loses a star.

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