Posts Tagged ‘albient’

Gates of Hypnos  – 4th July 2021

Christopher Nosnibor

This is a split release by, as the title suggests, Sado Rituals and Mass Grave, who each bring approximately twenty minutes of harsh noise wall to the dark, antisocial party.

Sado Rituals’ ‘Funeral Pile of the Nameless’ is a murky cloud of tearing, rumbling devastation.

As I listen, I contemplate whether they mean pile or pyre, but conclude it maters little, especially not least of all to the couple of hundred people who will even ever hear it. We’re in ultra-niche territory here, and no mistake. But it’s a niche filed with a truly hardcore following.

It’s deep, dark, dank, a rumbling morass of formless darkness that billows and rumbles, and over the course of its precise twenty minutes, it sucks the fucking soul from you as it churns away at the guts without shift and without mercy. It feels like standing beneath the rotors of a helicopter, or on the edge of a cyclone spiralling down and drawing all matter into the pits of hell, the sonic equivalent of a black hole. A vortex of bleakness, of dense matter without form. And then, bang on the twenty-minute marks, it stops.

As purveyors of self-labelled ‘blackened noise wall’, Mass Grave’s nineteen-minute gut churner sounds like the tail end of a piano being rolled down a flight of stairs, a rolling crash of dissonance. It’s even darker and dinger than Sado Rituals’ contribution, a low rumble reduced to a slow, low drone that gradually warps as it billows like smoke from a fire on a wrecker’s yard, all types burning and cars slowly melting in the suffocating black smog.

The lack of treble on these two pieces tempers the harshness, in many ways: it’s a real gut-rumbler but neither track feels particularly attacking or abrasive: it’s a noise wall, and no mistake, but one which is more designed to smoother and suffocate than penetrate the flesh and the psyche with its harsh intensity. It’s still punishing, and it’s still gnarly as fuck, and its power lies in just how oppressive, stifling, the two pieces are.

AA

a3190939614_16

Editions Mego – EMEGO289 – Digital: July 24/31 – LP: end August 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

Who knew that there was a burgeoning experimental music scene in Nairobi? I’ll confess, not me. It transpires that KMRU, known to friends and others as Joseph Kamaru was listed by Resident Advisor as one of “15 East African Artists You Need To Hear” in 2018, and is a regular performer at the Nyegenyege Festival, having also presented live performances at CTM festival and Gamma Festival.

As a low, slow-oscillating, cloud-shifting, minimalist ambient work, Peel is well-executed and seems like a reasonable entry point into KMRU’s work. The field recordings that are integral to its material form are so subtly integrated as to be practically indiscernible, absorbed in the soft swell of sound. This is testament to KMRU’s attention to detail, and in a time that’s an overwhelming blast of soundbites and headlines and music that’s compressed and geared towards MP3 / radio / streaming, Peel explores the full dynamic range.

While the album features six pieces in total, four run past the ten-minute mark, with opener ‘Why Are You Here’ drifting elongatedly past the fifteen minute mark, and the title track rounding off with a monumental twenty-two-minutes or minimalism.

‘Why Are You Here’ begins quietly, a lurching bass slowly rising against clattering metallics, and it’s a hushed, stealthy and vaguely challenging introduction, a combination of melody and disharmony. ‘Solace’ offers none, despite its soft misty formlessness and ‘Well’ is simply fair enough.

‘Klang’ picks up, pulsating subtly, its rhythm reduced to an electronic throb like a sore finger. It pulses and thrums like a rising tide against a sandy shore. It has a tangible density, a physical resonance, which contrasts with the vagueness of the appropriately-titled ‘Insubstantial’ and the 22-minute closer in the form of the title track. It’s not about form but feel, and Peel feels soft, reaching out across territories and emotional landscapes with no agenda and no set motive. This freedom is refreshing, not to mention rare.

AA

KMRU – Peel