Thursday, February 25, 2021
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Music Reviews

Deison: Substrata

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Artist: Deison
Title: Substrata
Format: 10"
Label: Drone Records

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Italy's Cristiano Deison is a musician active since the mid 90's in the noise / experimental / ambient realms. Many of his releases are collaborative works among them quite known names like John Duncan, K.K. Null or Maurizio Bianchi.
This EP is part 28 of the ongoing Substantia Innominata series by Drone Records.

Substrata features three new atmospheric compositions based on prepared tapes, metals, strings, wires and electronics recorded on different locations assembled and processed afterwards.
"Terra Firma (Pt. 1 & 2)" is a 16 Minute exploration of organic development, split in two parts. A soft, soothing ambience develops slowly until clear, crystalline sounds evolve and together with calm pulsating deeper sounds which shape together the picture of an acoustic stalagmite cave.
With "Prima Materia" he tries to describe "the primitive formless base of all matter similar to chaos, the quintessence or aether." A bold aspiration which leads to an more diverse soundscape but bearing the same smooth tranquillity. Starting with the same crystalline sounds embedded in a mysterious distant rhythm it shifts into soft ambient paired with distorted everyday noises. A collage which equally occupies the senses as "Terra Firma" and passes faster than the track length suggests.
Side B closes with an short afterthought, "In Vacuo Momentum", which plays with channels and sounds leaving the impressions of passing whales deep down in the Ocean.

Deison's compositions have an very organic feel to it, illustrated on the cover with what could be a spiderweb on a rusty fence hit by raindrops. The green, transparent Vinyl of this edition of 300 supports the artistic vision appropriately.

Jérémie Mathes: Arkhaîos

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Artist: Jérémie Mathes
Title: Arkhaîos
Format: 10"
Label: Drone Records (@)

Substantia Innominata is a special 10" series by Drone Records dedicated to artists exploring the intangible and transforming their ideas into exclusive audio works. Most of these have LP length and are limited, high quality pressings on coloured vinyl with special artwork and well known names like Illusion Of Safety, Daniel Menche, Bass Communion, (ext.) to name but a few sit besides nearly unknown artists. This release; Arkhaîos is volume 27, issued in black Vinyl in an edition of 300 copies.
Jérémie Mathes is an French sound artist from the Field Recordings, Experimental, Musique Concrète area with published works on ta'lem and Unfathomless and Hymen Records (in collaboration with Jérôme Chassagnard). Here he's working primary with processed field recordings, for this release made from sounds recorded in an abounded factory site generated with found objects, Tibetan bowl, small bells, percussions, cymbal, a bow, and a violin.
The tones of vacated, empty spaces and it's reflections used do not provide a comfort zone for the listener but while the soundscapes here are special the balance is well kept to distance them from bleak darkness.
Starting with an extended introduction of lonely resounds a slowly approaching intense drone makes up most of "Tómleiki". 19 Minutes filled with static movement, emptiness and an otherworldly view in an altered reality creep slowly forward into an unknown territory. On the other side the second piece "Yliaster" strengthens the impression of having arrived somewhere unknown. It settles down with a powerful 18 Minutes long flow capturing body and soul likewise; Time flies here - or just doesn't matter any longer. Mentally this leads into the underworld of the subconscious but luckily this is Vinyl only so the danger of getting completely lost after hitting the repeat button is banned right from the start.

Doug Haire: Campsites

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Artist: Doug Haire
Title: Campsites
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Arpaviva (@)
Distributor: CD Baby

This collection of sound-pieces is the work of an very experienced recording engineer - Doug Haire from Seattle, Pacific NW, USA who's spent a long time of his life supporting experimental musicians hosting a radio show and recording exclusives for it. He is also a member of the Seattle Phonographers Union - a collective working and performing only with unprocessed field-recordings since 2002. Campsites is his first solo release since 2012's Removed And Haunted.
I imagine him now retired from session work, sitting by the campfire he could not resist to capture the moods and it's really incredible how he transmits the atmospheres with his field recordings which later on where supplied by decent drones. This reflecting on the reflection is executed with true mastery.
The overall calm sounds aided by the underlying subliminal drones lead inescapable to a loss of the sense of time.
The seven tracks are all subtle individual but work as a coherent whole, none is too lengthy and all mixing, mastering and production was done solely by Doug Haire himself.
I've found myself sitting suddenly in the last fading light of the day, mentally completely caught up in the moment - just like a campfire meditation - with engaged senses fully aware of the never ending surroundings.Campsites is as pictorial as a sound-work can be and leaves a lasting impression of an artists vision, offering his experiences to any open-minded listeners.

The Switchblade Kid: From Spaceport To Infinity

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Artist: The Switchblade Kid (@)
Title: From Spaceport To Infinity
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Mobius Theory (@)

While this might be an exciting step in the musicians personal development it is not necessarily for the rest of the world. From 'Spaceport To Infinity' is a long form one dimensional drone piece which leads to nowhere (not to be mixed up with Infinity). Backing noises from daily life meet the humming of a refrigerator, like first generation DIY Industrial fan tapes from the early 1980's.
At first unimaginative and dull 30 Minutes where the end can't be easily reached - there is no tension, nothing to keep the listening interesting and not even a proper ending or fade-out (most likely recorded just as long as the tape was running). Then there is the Revenge Body Remix of 'From Spaceport To Infinity' in equal length which adds some more basic electronic distortion to the mix to uplift this a little, at least into stereophonic noisy territory.
But please, there is nothing experimental nor creative which has not been done so many times before.This leaves sadly no emotional or musical impact to the listener as it's neither meditative nor powerful enough.

Inconvenience Store: If I Was a Morgue, No One Would Die

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Artist: Inconvenience Store (@)
Title: If I Was a Morgue, No One Would Die
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: self-released

It's been a while since I heard an EP with a total playing time of just about 11 Minutes length and 5 tracks but actually it does not feel like this due to the constant changes and mutations of the tracks.
Inconvenience Store actually found their own way with collaging samples from the media, experimental noises and real instruments like Bass and Drums to perform their own brand of freestyle hardcore with a poppy edge. While the trio is together since 2012 this is only their 4th release which is somewhat surprising as this might be more complicated in performance than in the studio but obviously it works for them.
Track titles as "Loss_Regret_Pain_Grief_Lust_Greed" and the ultra-dark cover mislead expectations at first but this production shows a lot of humour.
The listening time is well invested here and in case you buy it the funds will be donated to The Massachusetts Bail Fund which will add to your karma.