Tag Archives: Dark Winter

Mystified – Ophir


Now let’s have some new portion of bizarre and pensive music from Thomas Park’s project Mystified and his 2008 Dark Winter release “Ophir”. First, let’s discuss the title: Ophir is a biblical region, location of which is unknown till present days – it is the place, closely related to King Solomon’s treasures. Also, a martial canyon was named in the name of this region. What was the initial and exact source of inspiration for Mystified remains a mystery; strictly speaking Mystified justifies his name. The main feature of this drone ambient album is minimalism and straightforwardness, though if going deep into this creation, if feeling it keenly, you are sure to enjoy the implied solid textures and unfathomable moods, resorted by Thomas Park. You hear some low-tone ringings, wide and thick strata of soft noise, hummings and slightly eroded distant melodies. The album is crowned by more than half an hour long track “Constant”, which again justifies its name – permanent drone in the aggregate with noise, builds this long, monotonous composition, but it doesn’t make you worn out, in spite of its structure, it isn’t boring – it is some kind of a field recording from another, parallel world. So, join Mystified’s revelations with his album “Ophir”.

Mystified’s official site

Official release page on Dark Winter label

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

Mystified – Altered Signals


“Altered Signals” is an album of Thomas Park, an American musician, mostly known under the name Mystified. The album, released on Dark Winter label, starts with the same-named track, built up by some kind of intrauterine sonic flashes, resembling a cash-register, furiously spitting out endless checks. It is more an experimental/soft noise piece, against a background of minor low-toned drone. Irregular and buzzing, it is passing the baton to “Bell Cloud”, which comprises something like an aircraft-drone. Listening to it, you are sure to get a feeling of a processing of a takeoff.  Eating more deeply into the structure of this track, you can detect some distant ghostly sounds of unknown nature, that brighten the whole track’s system. If considering “Altered Signals” to be a prelude, “Bell Cloud” is a submergence into the depths of the author’s music concept. Then comes “Vocal Tremors”; again some alteration of signals (here – voice signals) can be discovered.  When I reached “Octavepus”, I realized the twin nature of this initial part of the album. The first pair is “Altered Signals” and “Vocal Tremors”, common feature of which is alteration, and the second is “Bell Cloud” and “Octavepus” – two taking off compositions, that have a ascendant guideline in their both skeletons. These four tracks represent the first part of the album. The second is a 30 minutes long “Science of change”; in it you can hear some unhurried and measured succession of fade-ins and fade-outs of tenderly ringing drones. There are no repetitions – the name of the track speaks for itself, there are only changes, but not fast – these ones evidently resemble changes in nature, which sometimes are omitted by the human eye. In the whole, the album of Mystified creates positive impressions, leaving a pleasant afterimage in the inner screen of a listener. So, become a receiver of Mystified’s “Altered Signals”.

“Altered Signals” om Dark Winter label: http://darkwinter.com/dw046.html
Mystified’s official site: http://www.mystifiedmusic.com/

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/