Tag Archives: dark ambient

I AM Esper/Prosektor – Split

Amex Nori label suddenly brought us some new happiness to hear some dark ambient music from a split of I AM Esper and Prosektor. This album is divided into two sections, the first belonging to I AM Esper, and the second to Prosektor. Starting theme, called “Shoreside Apparition Pt. I”, with its apocalyptic mood, full of sullen premonitions, introduces us to the black, dense and impenetrable substance of the split. The second “Shoreside Apparition Pt. II” begins with a wide sound, which resembles to some extend low-tone Tibetan horns. This agitating drone, however, later become interlaced by presumably portions of processed guitar howlings. Then, comes the turn of Prosektor, recently reviewed here. He definitely proves his dedication as an explorer of the dark side of our spiritual life. His track “Clinical Death” reveals the idea of this strange phenomenon by smooth injections of modulated string chords, passing one into another, creating the sequence of events and situations. “Emptiness Of Mind”, a set of alarming and intimidating sonic layers, narrates about this discrepant condition of human consciousness, when, maybe, because of some terrible hardships, the mind for some time is submerged into a quagmire of oblivion, lacking the ability to soberly evaluate the situation. So, have some actual dark ambient from I AM Esper and Prosektor.

Download link (Megaupload)

Amex Nori label

Prosektor – Mental Illness

This is a new album from Prosektor, and a new portion of clinical dark ambient. As you can notice, this album continues the theme of the dark side of a human psychic, which was already seen in Prosektor’s album “Mortuus Spital”, reviewed here. The opening track “Psychosis”, slowly and carefully brings us into the black abyss of the author’s fantasy. The known atmosphere of anxiety and overall tension envelope you, by curly, sullen coatings of sounds. “Clinical Lycanthropy” with its sudden frightening splashes, describes the form of a delusion in which a person believes that he is a wolf, and maybe it also describes the possible flow of consciousness of such a man, with nervously appearing images, jerkings and aggression. “Confabulatio” represents a clot of irregular fantasies, thoughts, creating a strange, unpredictable sounding. “Deep-pression”, the casuistry, based on the words “depression”, “deep” and “pression”, reveals all of the possible applications of the mentioned notions – the morose, flying ambiences, projecting fear, may become a truthful embodiment of this hard psychic state. The further you get the harder the going – then comes “Paranoia”, with thin, piercing layers of drones, with some use of field recordings: you can hear some sounds of dripping water. The album is crowned by “Schizoaffective Disorder”, strongly differing from the previous track by its volume and mood – it is more colourful, the black tones are supplemented with new, still dark shades of some other colours. Prosektor chose the thorny path of exploring those regions of our inner worlds, which we are always afraid of – mental illnesses are concealed even in the depths of a completely optimistic human being, and this research turns out to be very informative and expressive: all this create an impression, that Prosektor is a Wanderer in the twilights of the Mind, and he is as if making a report from the Other Side. So, have some dark ambient therapy from Prosektor’s album “Mental Ilness”.

Prosektor’s “Mental Illness” on Soundcloud

Kalte – The Lanthanide Series

I couldn’t control myself and couldn’t help reviewing another brilliant Kalte’s album, called “The Lanthanide Series”, released on Stasisfield label in distant 2008. It appears to be first release in their discography. I must again repeat, that Kalte’s ambient is closely connected with different fields of science, and “The Lanthanide Series” is not an exception, even on the assumption of the album’s title. Lanthanides are rare-earth elements, representatives of which are shown on the inner cover picture. The opening “Shallow Approach”, full of ringing, oscillating drones, is just like the introduction in a scientific document, a kind of overview in a exploration report. “Spagyric”, a stream-oriented, dark piece, with some sort of radionoise, or interruptions, may relate to alchemic processes, maybe during which the mentioned lanthanides were born. “Mariana Arc” may refer to a plate tectonic convergent boundary, located somewhere in the region of Philippine Sea and Pacific Ocean; the music is anxious, as if implying the danger, concealing under water surface. “Bremsstrahlung” is a track, describing some radiation phenomena, “when an electrically charged particle, especially an electron, is slowed down by the electric field of an atomic nucleus or an atomic ion”, as the Lingvo puts it. the final track, “Alfvenwave” refer to solar physics; it is the lateral magnetohydrodynamic wave, spreading along filed lines of the magnetic field. Thus, very complicated things are introduced by Kalte, the obscured phenomena and processes, which exist in spite of the fact, that we don’t see them. Thanks to this band for their dedication to popularizing science and broadening our mental horizons, together with the pleasure of listening to their huge, massive drone ambient works. So, remember the periodic table with
Kalte’s “The Lanthanide Series”.

Kalte’s official site

“The Lanthanide Series” on Stasisfield label

Kalte – Fissures

Again Dean Hughes and Rik MacLean from the earlier reviewed here band Kalte decided to bring some happiness with their new album “Fissures”, released on Petcord label. And again Kalte draws our attention to scientific spheres; “Chemiosmosis”, “Polyphyletic”, “Harbig-Haro Object”, “Hadopelagic”, “Asthenosphere” – all these geologic and biologic terms are the conceptual units of the album, which seeks for our proximity to natural phenomena, that we don’t keep in mind, as they are so continuous or unapparent. Now, let’s proceed to the music itself. The tracks are distinguished by their monumentalness and majesty: low-tone drones, gradually exfoliating into different layers of sounds; seeming permanence, which vanishes, if we look at it “from the bird’s eye view”, for the music is rather vivid and versatile. The album has various textures – from solid to coarse- and fine-grained, with distinct skeletons and components, as if it is the product of scientific research and experiments, or a the fact of a scientific discovery. The impression of depth, darkness and coldness is created here. So, enter Kalte’s laboratory with their deep, Hadopelagic sound of “Fissures”.

“Fissures” on Petcord label

Kalte’s official site

Prosektor – Mortuus Spital

Sullen and hopeless, tragic and painful, Prosektor’s “Mortuus Spital” picks up the baton of the Dark Winter’s race. The gist of the album’s story is build around the trapped soul in an abandoned hospital. This plot awakens reminiscences of Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” film, where in one of its parts, the central character, Pink, is found inside of a hospital, wriggled in a ball, making horrible grimaces. So, let’s return to Prosektor’s work, really deserving attention. Besides gloomy impressions, there are nice ones, concerning the elaborate musical textures with their drones, which sometimes exfoliate into mutually accompanying strata, carrying the listener away, to the black thick of the depressive solitude. As
mentioned above, there is a ghost in this story, and you are definite to observe its momentary appearances, sometimes frightening. In spite of the depression, which impregnated every second of the album, it is evident, that this music has its soul, it is vivid and meaningful. So, have a walk throught the corridors of “Mortuus Spital” of Prosektor.

“Mortuus Spital” on Dark Winter label

Various Artists – Terra Firma (Compilation from Senile Dementia label)

Today I’ll review a compilation of different artists, that was released on Senile Dementia label. It is called “Terra Firma”. Various shades of dark ambient are represented here. From ritual, as in the first track of Dodeccaheedron “And Then Came A Struggle 2011”, where you can hear some sullen psalms, howlings, sounds, resembling roar of tibetan pipes, screams of war, through anthropogenic ambiences, as in “Tight Connection” by Ego Ex Nihil, to open-spaced drones of “Terra Firma” by I93. I won’t make a high-resoluted review, sectionalizing all the tracks, because every track and every composer deserves a separate article, which I am sure with the lapse of time will appear on this blog. However, I want to emphasize, that the key word to this compilation may appear to be “situational”: every piece represents a certain situation, a certain performance, with individual circumstances and consequences. Moving from one track to the next in the process of listening, you are as if trying different states of mind on, like subtle energetic clothes. Of course, it should be noted, that these “clothes” are mainly of dark nature, implying some feelings of fear, alert and despair, but such is the Dark Ambient style, and all of the artists successfully conform to its features, everybody coped with the task of creating music for listening in the darkness. I also think, that their works, introduced here, proved, that the authors are standing firm on their terra firmas – solid grounds. So, join them, listening to compilation from Senile Dementia label.

Terra Firma on Senile Dementia label: http://www.sendem.ru/releases/12/

Disturbance Ambient Project – Nidhoggur

Disturbance Ambient Project is a dark ambient/industrial project from Yekaterinburg, Russia; now I’m going to review its album, called “Nidhoggur”, released on Qulture Production label. In fact, Nidhoggur is a name for a mythic dragon, who gnaws at the root of Yggdrasil – the World Tree. As you can notice, the track names are connected with mythology, religion and philosophy: “Aeon” – age, epoch; “Eos” – the Titan goddess of the dawn; “Erebus” – the son of the primordial god Chaos, the personification of darkness and shadow; Fenrir – a monstrous wolf from Norse mythology. The sounding of the album is aggressive and powerful, it is full of tough rythms, distortion and overdrive – as if some prehistoric energy was released from the ocean of oblivion. So, I invite you to gnaw the root of the World Tree with “Nidhoggur” of Disturbance Ambient Project.

Disturbance Ambient Project’s “Nidhoggur” on Qulture Production label: http://www.qulture.ru/?menu=2&mp3=211

Deamorphin – Dreams Of Maldoror

Always being interested in unfamiliar mysterious words, I started finding out what the word “Maldoror” means, and stumbled across the novel “The Songs Of Maldoror” by Comte de Lautréamont, where the author imprinted some reflections of a demonic creature, which has misantropic character, who hates the human race. Definitely, this novel inspirated Deamorphin to write “Dreams Of Maldoror” – a dark ambient work, released on Death Records label. The sounding of the album is sullen, frightening and dense, maybe even suffocating. The author succeeded in revealing the possible dreams of a demon, full of hatred, wish of destruction and filth. Listening to this album resembles an experience of some kind of a negative enlightenment, when you meet face to face the dark side of reality, the dark aspect of everything, feeling discomfort and fear. So, make a step into the dreams of Maldoror with Deamorphin.

Deamorphin’s “Dreams Of Maldoror” on Death Records label: http://death-records.ru/archives/454

Fescal – Beautiful Neurotic

Today let’s draw our attention to “Beautiful Neurotic” – an album of a Korean musician under the name Fescal. First thing, that bursts upon the eye is the opposition, which is present in the very title of the album: “beautiful” vs “neurotic” – positive quality against negative one. Then, if we look through the names of the tracks, we will notice the subsequent development of this opposition. Here, two concept lines intersect, making some kind of a “concept cross”: “Cecropia Moth” and “Quasicrystalline” on the one side and “F-ck-New-York” and “Vancouver On Fire” on the other side. The first line is represented by natural and beautiful notions, such as the moth and the fanciful tracery of quasicrystals. Obviously, these may be concerned with the “beautiful” category. “Cecropia Moth” is built up by a stable low drone, which later is accompanied by a high-toned squeal and some crackling. The whole atmosphere is rather calm. “Quasicrystalline” begins with a troubled low drone, and, near the middle of the track, this agitation fades away, leaving place for a self-tuning mild ringing sound. Now, let’s turn to the “dark” concepts, that have some kind of a twilight state in its sense. “F-ck-New-York” is almost 7 minutes of a distorted, dirty sound, against the background of a mild white noise and a low bitrate rustling. Hearkening more thoroughly, you’ll find out the sonic spine of the track – a looped reversed sample. The general mood is aggresive, though a little bit lyrical. And the last track – “Vancouver On Fire” – is again distorted, with thorny snapping, noises and knocking. You also hear indistinct ringing drone tints. The sounding displays destruction in burning ambience. These two tracks unquestionably belong to the second, “neurotic” conceptual category. The compositions are situated next nearest, composing in such a way the “Beautiful Neurotic” architecture, the architecture with its peculiar extremes, intercrossing antagonistic vectors. Also, pay attention to the cover picture of the album. There you can see two sides – the face of a young girl, which is half hidden by her hair. Though it is only the hair, it is like the absorbing shadow – the dark hypostasis of a human nature. So, feel the discrepancy of Fescal’s “Beautiful Neurotic”.

Fescal’s “Beautiful Neurotic” on Camomille Music label: http://www.camomillemusic.com/cml006.html

Kalte – Glaciations

Kalte is a duet of Deane Hughes and Rik MacLean, musicians from Toronto, Canada; the place, where they live and create, is totally connected with such notions and phenomena, as “frost”, “winter”, “ice” and “cold”, and probably these climate peculiarities influenced their musical activity, even the name of the project – “Kalte” is derived from the German word for “frost”, or “coldness”. One of their album, which I want to review, is called “Glaciations”. The starting point is “Obliquity” – a ringing drone, a modified sound of presumably metal or glass nature; obliquity means a deviation from a norm, and in the context of this album, it may be the temperature deviation, which, perhaps, leads to glaciation, as a result of the climate change. This track is distinguished by its increasing loudness and power, it has a subsequent structure; at first, comes the quiet part, then – anxious part, and the last – the final phase, where an impression of completeness and inevitability is evident. The mechanism of glaciation is launched. Everything is plunged in frost and darkness. “Svalbard” is a piece, that describes through the sound the atmosphere of an archipelago in the Arctic, a very picturesque part of Norway.  You hear some something like howlings, and the rythmic picture of the track resembles the sea breakers – unhurried, but full of natural force. Frankly speaking, after listening to this composition and having paid attention to the mentioned group of islands, I wished to visit this place. “Heezen-Tharp” is an ambient piece, which may be associated with two American geologists – Bruce Charles Heezen and Marie Tharp, who collaborated in mapping the ocean floor. Heezen is also a name for an Antarctic glacier, situated on the Antarctic Peninsula. “Heezen-Tharp” is full of different tinklings, clanks and sullen drones. “Luminosity Function” is a track, where you can observe a transition from low quality drone with crackles and semblance of interference to capturing organ drone. And the last item is “Chemotrophs”. In fact, chemotrophs are peculiar organisms, that get energy from redox reactions. The enchanting sounding is also of low bitrate, and fine-grained texture, as if consisting of protozoa, which  move to and fro in the oceanic bouillon. As you can see, every track has its history and sense background, and listening to the whole album reminds me of solving a riddle with making juxtapositions, uniting various elements into one conceptual system. For me, this investigation was a true pleasure. So, put on warm clothes and enter the icy world of Kalte’s “Glaciations”.

Kalte’s “Glaciations” on Dark Winter label: http://darkwinter.com/dw056.html
Kalte’s official site: http://www.kaltemusic.com/

PHOLDE – In Favour Of More Permanent Pleasures

This is the genuine metal music – the creation of an ambient project PHOLDE, whose album “In Favour Of More Permanent Pleasures”, released on Dark Winter label, may be considered a collection of iron songs, though I am not sure, if there only iron was used, other metals sound too. PHOLDE’s music is distinguished by the fact, that author uses found metal, from which he produces unique and pure sound, not applying any computer sound effects, with the exception of reverberation, which, I think, appear to be the best beautification for everything. Gong-like, grandiose strata of ringing peals cover the mind, making it vibrate, resulting in deep resonance with the enchantment of the artist’s performance. The names of the tracks are rather abstract, but this elusive concept drags you down to a certain enlightenment, especially, if you pay attention to the title of the album, which is dedicated to More Permanent Pleasures, which outlive our vain thoughts and motives. In my opinion, the author shows us, that really, permanence is everywhere, and our task is just to manage to see it, and he demonstrates this by the example of metallic things, that can exhale this permanence through their fascinating sounding. Everything can become eternal, we are just to open the window of our consciousness. Find your Permanent Pleasures with PHOLDE.

PHOLDE’s “In Favour Of More Permanent Pleasures” on Dark Winter label: http://darkwinter.com/dw005.html
PHOLDE’s official site: http://www.pholde.com/