Eyre Transmissions XVIII: Interview With Reticent Dark Ambient Producer, Infinexhuma

Infinexhuma is one of Dark Ambients most spectral artists. Producing a variant that captures the true essence of Dark Ambient music, while always coming up with ideas that catapult his brand of bleak atmospherics beyond comprehensible realms. Each release presents a diverse blend of haunting drones and soundscapes while fusing in intricate nuances that entertain the listeners pallet for extended moments in time. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the audial administrator of noise terror that IS Infinexhuma. He give us the low down on the projects beginnings, influences, and what all’s to come. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did putting it together.

1. Thanks for taking the time for this interview! One thing that I’ve been wanting to know is, what does the name Infinexhuma mean and how did you come up with it for your project?

Infinexhuma refers to Infinite Exhumation, a process widely experienced by many inhabitants of this earth, a process that breeds monotony and lack of will. Around the time of the initial host death, a doorway in limbo was opened via this concept, more so a realization that this process must be broken, emphasized by the trapping within a limbo state being the most accurate example of the horrors of unbroken monotony, the journey is, was, will be the beaking. The sounds are only evidence and passive teachings channeled through this host, It is and is not music, it is and is not metaphorical, it is and is not real.

2. How did you get into Dark Ambient music and what was the influence that made you decide to start your own project?

I recall approximately 10 years ago, at the time operating a different and now defunct music project, short naps were taken during studio work. During these naps I would listen to some more subdued black metal or perhaps just throw on a horror film for the score. Later I discovered a website called darkambient.de I believe it was called, that became the go-to for the naps after that. Later of course there were multiple stages to the evolution from lightly experimenting to heavy listening to diving into field recording to eventually releasing a first album to discovering scenes etc. Learning the composition structure of such music was a long process as well, as it was new to me, not in terms of listening, but in terms of production. The energy for Infinexhuma grew while the old project died, some influences include (yes some are by the same person); Inade, Lustmord, Ark Tau Eos, S.P.K., Archon Satani, Atrium Carceri, Sjellos, Noctilucant, NERATERRÆ, Tangerine Dream, TG, Altus, Gustaf Hildebrand, John Carpenter, Deathpile, ProtoU, Sabled Sun, film scores, Yen Pox, Terra Sancta, Apocryphos, tomandandy, Enmarta, Council of Nine, A Murder of Angels, Halgrath, Alphaxone, Svartsinn, Kolhoosi 13, Dark Matter, Crawl Unit, Subklinik, Kammarheit, Keosz, Blood Box, Trepaneringsritualen, Apoptose, Beyond Sensory Experience, Raison D’être, Visions, Vestigial, Phonothek, Monocube, Phragments, Therradaemon, Nordvargr, Brighter Death Now, MZ 412, The Human Voice, Paleowolf, Ramleh, Opeth, Ulver, Enmarta, ALLSEITS, Northaunt, Hilyard, Sephiroth, Desiderii Marginis, Phurpa, Northumbria, Psychomanteum, Gnawed, and likely more. Many obscure projects have been discovered over the years, ones that would evade the objective (and often disliked by elders) classification of dark ambient. The tiers and styles and authenticity within this obscure genre could be elaborated on as my perspective and knowledge on it continues to grow and be enhanced, however this would lengthen the interview to perhaps an unhealthy limit. I later began to hit the starting point of a full circle and felt comfortable drawing influences from unrelated genres I knew more pre Infinexhuma, mostly energetically and not so much in terms of the speed and rhythms.

3. The debut album from Infinexhuma, ‘Crossing’ is a well crafted experience that easily rivals albums from more seasoned artists. How much effort and production experience went into delivering this album?

Well, in fact the real first work was Chaotic Depth, the low volume 2016 unmastered version that is, which itself took approximately three to four years of work, not much of an impact, but I believe the process of “peaking” can be reversed for some artists, some achieve the proper transmission of their message with a first production, others take several to weed out what is not to be said, Brian Williams actually said this in an interview, quite refreshing. Anyways, Crossing, the crossing state, a collection of earth captures from what we call the Pacific Northwest. Crossing took several years as well, however a period of sharp acceleration was implemented towards the end. Much of this work was guided by intricate harmonics within the field recs, which gave a solid and consistent base for workflow, and that avoided any creative blockages. This was the true state of transition between this and that world, the energy was aided by a concept I often discuss, is your visual and physical perception of music based on environment, for example Snowy Court, was an actual Snowy Court, a Japanese garden in a strong snowing winter season, aside from the of course the sounds of subtle snowfall, the energy that was there during the recording process, remains (to me) on that recording and follows all the way to the studio, providing an energy base for the track, and I believe this cannot be recreated, despite the sounds being identical, it will lack the energy. This work was mastered by the great Robert Rich.

https://infinexhuma.bandcamp.com/album/crossing

4. “Broken River” is my favorite track on that album, as it uniquely combines field recordings, drone, haunting textures and a sense of melody. What was the story behind that particular track?

As The Snowy Court, it was in fact a broken river, the first portion of rocks shuffling was traveling to the water, traveling within the break of the river, guided by subtle harmonics, messages beyond the mind. The whole album could have been better in terms of technical production as now I am vastly more advanced in this regard, but for the sake of giving credit where it is due, the “speaking” was natural, clear and very simple.

5. Do you document your own field recordings or sample from other sources?

I use 99.99% original field recordings, samples are seldom used, and if they are, their obscurity would prevent anyone from ever acquiring knowledge of the original source.

6. In 2019, you teamed up with Neraterræ for a remastering of ‘Chaotic Depth’? I can definitely hear his influence on the album but how did this exquisite teaming come about?

In fact, it was more of a gift from fellow creator NERATERRAE, I believe I had given some unused pieces of music and in exchange for this he presented to me a mastered version of this album, alongside I believe a track for a dark ambient compilation. He was featured on his personal favorite of the album, overall it was quite a pleasure to listen to and motivated me to execute a full digital release. Again, none of it thus far is what needs to be said, I could destroy all Infinxhuma material tomorrow and it would not matter, I am attached to nothing, especially material of the past that is now deemed inferior, and in my personal opinion not so good anyway.

https://infinexhuma.bandcamp.com/album/chaotic-depth-neraterr-remaster

7. On 2020’s ‘Arcade’ release, it seems like you went for a more minimalistic, retrospective sound. The results were simply amazing, in my opinion, but what were your expectations with this release?

Very true to the Infinexhuma path, yet in a realm above many of the human compulsions and matters, hence its more neutral and overseeing vibe. This release was expected to sound good, the sound was a heavy focus of this work, the depth and intricacies within the drones were (and are) one of the most fascinating things within music to me. Many planes were explored on this, a perhaps more space oriented cousin to Crossing.

https://infinexhuma.bandcamp.com/album/arcade

8. There are a variety of instruments used/heard throughout this release. What all do you play on this album – and other albums for that matter?

Arcade had some synth layers as I had not yet adopted the principle of operating on samples only, however likely some guitar, for sure some throat singing on a specific track, but as well likely many many field recordings and their most prominent harmonics brought to the frontlines.

9. Speaking of gear, can you walk us through your studio setup?

Which one? Ha, well

1) DAW/post production, I have an ASUS laptop with decent power, a large casio used as a midi controller and practice at times, Yamaha Hs8 monitors, a few focusrite interfaces, A tape dubber/player, a novation (mini) pad with midi pots, a large bass amp, a condenser mic with multiple filters, a digital reverb unit, two guitars, a V-Drum kit, some brass and wood instruments

2) Practice/Live Prep, of course many of the mentioned and those I will mention can and are often moved in between rooms, but fundamentally I have a Eurorack box, forgetting how many hp total, three Yamaha mg102 mixers (the old school ones without usb and digital effects and crap), many effects and generator pedals, passive ¼ mixer, a few dynamic microphones, a marantz 201, a Roland SP-404 SX multiple (actual) drum pieces, a large collection of carefully selected windchimes, more wood instruments, bells, singing bowls, a Behringer Neutron synth and one more mackie mix8 (not the sturdy VLZ construction). Of course a soldering station for minor repairs and eurorack builds, contact microphones.

3) Mobile, I often use the mackie mixer when recording in tunnels or bunkers (if accessible enough to bring power as well. In my car I have constantly my Sony PCM D-100 for intricate and high quality (safe terrain as I’ve killed a few) field recs, a Zoom H-1 for more rugged and rough locations, quick on the fly recs, and as well to be used in conjunction with the Roland CS-10EM (recommended to me by Gnawed) binaural earphones/microphones for unorthodox binaural recs as I use them in reverse, thus far at least. Next, I carry a Zoom H3-VR for not the most accurate or heavy duty ambisonic work, but interesting nonetheless after decoding, A gopro with a special discontinued Sennheiser MKE-2 underwater microphone and another deeper diving somewhat shabby hydrophone for some cool underwater stuff. A tablet for on the fly Hexen Modular patches, to be used with a smaller JBL cylindrical sound bar, as well a larger JBL ONE portable rechargeable “PA” speaker.

10. Back to the music, on last year’s amazing release, ‘Frontier’, you have a variety of guest musicians that provide some captivating input for several tracks. Did you have a particular sound or theme in mind when working with these talents?

Perhaps only for the Blood Box collaboration, I have always had a very special appreciation for Blood Box and much admiration for their smooth execution of the dark and light mixture throughout their work. This was what I was seeking on our collaboration. Minimalism was sought out for the CEKE collab, and energy for the NERATERRAE one, all I believe were excellent works.

https://infinexhuma.bandcamp.com/album/frontier

11. I have to ask you about “In The End”. It’s so different from everything else that you’ve released, yet sounds as if it fits right in with the theme of the album. Is this a direction you may be interested in going in with this project or perhaps under another name?

I have huge respect for those that are dedicated and naturally immobile on a specific stylistic path, however as the journey continues, I become more aware of how this is difficult, and not needed for me. They are all artifacts, just sent through a host, a messenger that will one day go back to dust, some artifacts will be slow and brooding, some will be destructive, some will be energetic and within rhythmic structure. There will be more.

12. On your YouTube channel, you have a lot of live performance videos uploaded. This is something that’s not quite common in the Dark Ambient community (yet). How is it pulling off a Dark Ambient show while keeping it creative?

Many live works tend to stray from typical dark ambient, but at times have been very true to the exact style. Live is a heavy opener of creative doors, a heavy generator of energy, a powerful opportunity to give further insight into the Infinexhuma path, however there are often limitations, obstacles and at times failures that are not present in a studio setting. Embracing the failures and the death of expectations allows energy to be recycled and properly reutilized for exploration.

13. How often do you play live and do you have any plans to venture out on a larger scale for performing live?

Live services are conducted perhaps ten times or so a year, there have been some large scale events however there will be more, international service is within the scope as well.

14. We’re mid-way through 2022 and haven’t experienced new Infinexhuma material yet. Do you have something planned and what would be the direction of the material?

It has been some years now, and much work has been discarded, and much more will be created and burned, until the exact energy beam is captured. Artifacts are being prepared, yet completion is far and the time of unveiling is undetermined at this point.

15. As far as large scale collaborations, do you see any releases of this kind in the future? If so, who are some artists that you’d be interested in collaborating with?

There will be more co-operations along the journey and path, yet at this time I cannot elaborate on any who will contribute to the exploration. I will state that there are considerations, and some that may leap to genre crossing branches on the great tree of music

16. I really appreciate your time and letting us know about all things Infinexhuma. Any final thoughts for those that will read this interview?

Thank you for your effort and everything you do for the community of creatives, this will one day be read by artists hundreds of years beyond our existence as historical art exploration.

Links:

https://infinexhuma.bandcamp.com

https://www.instagram.com/infinexhuma/?hl=en

https://youtube.com/channel/UCWLRzVnGUKF78rEX0KiXysg

Xerxes The Dark Employs Metal Aesthetics To Intensify The Industrial Ambient Experince On ‘The Rise Of AI’

Xerxes The Dark is one of the most consistent artists of the Dark Ambient genre. Not necessarily when it comes to the Dark Ambient sound in the traditional sense, but with the unheralded impression of incorporating new ideas and tactics that indicates an endless realm of musical opportunity. With a string of highly influential albums that thrusts the Dark Ambient maestro into elegiac territories such as industrial, noise, fusion and metal, ‘The Rise Of AI’ just may be his most enigmatic release yet. With a futuristic story and theme that is not so far off from reality, this album thins the comfort zone of ambient music with a thrust into chaotic bleakness. Think about the hostile take over of bio-engineered humanoids in ‘Blade Runner’ with the invasion of indestructible alien robotics of ‘Terminator’ and then mix it with the technological destruction of ‘Black Mirror’ and you’ll have a sense of what the flow of ‘The Rise Of AI’ is all about. Let’s take a dive into this amazing recording.

Bold album opener, “The Rise Of AI” makes a critical statement for the flow and direction of the album. Slowly building into an industrial nightmare, this track more resembles Godflesh than dark ambience. From the steady cadence of drum machines and solid bass lines to a variety of voice samples and guttural transmissions, this track properly prepares the listener for the destruction that will soon follow. The nightmare continues with “Nuclear Winter”. Starting with eerie drones and haunting whispers, it quickly turns into an emergent, industrial anthem with muddy and distorted vocals. Guitar tones hint on melody but that quickly fades into a realm of bleak discomfort. “Take (No) Shelters” emits more dark ambience than previous tracks and is accommodated by stark samples and mechanized soundscapes. More vocal narration are heavily modulated and are right inline with the horrowing story that continues to unravel. “Synthetic Consciousness” is a full on Dark Ambient endeavor with a Space Ambient vibe, complete with celestial soundscapes and dark timbre that rapidly expands beyond the outer reaches of the universe. Malevolent machine nuances continue the harsh undertones of robotic supremacy. “Cyborg Soldiers” embodies an industrial sound with looping noises and drum beats, while a gritty vocal line chants in disdain. “Signaling The Alien Machine” marks a return to the Dark Ambient domain with a plethora of discordant noises and background echoes. As the drones increase in volume, muffled communications depict a scenery of imminent hostility. This calm before the storm approach creates a sense of anxiety and wonder, while complete AI take over is close at hand. “Simulating The New World” is a cinematic adventure that combines a barrage of industrial beats, melodic arrangements and and glitchy rhythms that flow together seamlessly. Portions of this track stimulate a warm sensation, as if there are light moments amongst the chaos that appear to be fathomable. “Interpret X11-01-10” is a short track that depicts communicative transmissions between AI and distant worlds. Soothing drones in the background allow this effort to be audible but untranslatable, as the evil machines prepare their next move for impending takeover. “Domination Of Humanoids” begins like a sneak attack with small, subtle noises as if being surrounded by unidentified beings. With a slow crescendo, industrial drum beats and bilious vocals elicit a constructive output that wages the war between AI and mankind. Like a battle cry of the ages, this track becomes a statement of dominance and leads the mission of AI acquisition. “Accessing Cosmic Memory” is a desolate ambient track that contains wavering drones, empty soundscapes and a looping pattern that signifies a positive communication efforts between the AI and their end goal. This expressive intonation creates a cessation of offensive strikes while vast information is being absorbed for future use. “Meeting Space Tribes” once again delivers a stark vocal arrangement with looping, industrial passages, while layers of drones produce a grandiose sound. The vocals spew a ton of pain and anger throughout and combined with the music, present a chilling, glacial landscape. “Intergalactic Empire” showcases a new side of the story as well as a new sound for XTD. With a melodic approach to Sy-Fi soundscapes, this track is industrial, yet light-hearted and probably one of the most accessible songs on the album. Complete with drum beats, bass lines and samples, this style is a welcome addition to the album as a whole and actually fits in quite well. Next up is “Holographic Wormhole Drive”. Not only is this the coolest song title ever, it’s also the closest this album comes to the traditional XTD sound. This is Dark Ambient in its truest form, with deep drones, creepy soundscapes and an overall menacing essence. There are several pitch shifts in this track that enhance the listening entertainment value, as well as present multiple sides to this gloomy effort. The final track of this epic album is the summarizing, “Gateway To The Unknown”. This is another scorching Dark Ambient masterpiece that includes some insane trip-hop beats and intense soundscape and noises. This ends the album in dominating fashion, just as the AI has systematically overtaken human kind, in this bewildering conceptual masterpiece.

I continue to be amazed by the many faces and directions of XTD. It’s safe to say that I never have any idea of the direction of each album, but pursue in amazement at how impressive each outting is. Whether it’s the established arrangement of Dark Ambient mainstays, drudging Noise Ambient, Industrial Ambient, or a conglomeration of the aforementioned, rest assured that the entertaining value (and listening experience) will be extremely high. ‘The Rise Of AI’ is right up there with the best that XTD has to offer and I highly recommend this for those that love an eclectic blend of electronic music styles. Please click the link below to download this incredible album and also check out the XTD back catalog while you’re there.

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Links:

https://xerxesthedark.bandcamp.com/album/the-rise-of-a-i

Celestial Ephemerides: A Collection Of Dark Ambient Summary Reviews, Part VI

From the distant reaches of the macrocosm, I bring you another planetary offering of Dark Ambient summary reviews. This batch of Celestial Ephemerides offers a copious selection of mystical performances that surges deep in the spheres of dimly lit voids. From noise and ritualistic to supernatural soundscapes and haunting field recordings, this is the most impressive gathering of Dark Ambient albums I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing in a while. Hope you enjoy!

1. Pillars Of Golden Misery – ‘Riders Of Misfortune’

‘Riders Of Misfortune’ is a majestic blend of discordant algorithms and resounding clamor in this abrasive but enjoyable offering. Served on a tumultuous platter of indignant ambience, this recording is not for the faint of heart or those with sensitive hearing. Piercing effects and elongated droning produce a disquieting pulse of audial horror that is as punishing as it is enthralling. Highly recommended for fans of harsh noise, glitch and transfixing avant-garde.

https://culturevomit.bandcamp.com/album/riders-of-misfortune-cult-vom-002

2. VSSP – ‘Modular Performances’

‘Modular Performances’ is such a fitting title for this massive collection of ambient tunes from VSSP. Innovative, tranquil, dreamy and calming are other adjectives that also accurately describe this seventy three minute offering that traverses the drone, space ambient and dark ambient genres. One thing that is predominant on this recording is the real sense of melody in each track. The emotional feeling is almost heartbreaking and sorrowful but extremely compelling to listen to. Highly recommended for background music on a cold, rainy day or while relaxing with the intent to cleanse the mind of negative thoughts.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/modular-performances

3. Sana Obruent – ‘Aftoktonia’

To these ears, this is one of the most complete Drone Ambient recordings I’ve heard in a long time. Aside from a few other artists, Sana Obruent is quickly becoming my go-to artist for epic drone excursions due to the prominent foray into meditative resonance. Minimalistic & simple, yet effective and powerful, ‘Aftoktonia’ is over one hundred minutes of reflective musings that brings together powerful drones and circadian effects that is as relaxing as it is strident. This is one of my favorite Ambient albums of 2022 and probably will remain that way for many years to follow.

https://sanaobruent.bandcamp.com/album/aftoktonia

4. Underwater Sleep Orchestra – ‘The Night And Other Sunken Dreams’

Underwater Sleep Orchestra, the new, brooding collaboration between Cities Last Broadcast and God Body Disconnect is a seventy eight minute magnum opus of polarizing dark ambient music. From hypnotizing drones to warm soundscapes, this is a project that I cannot wait to hear more from. These songs are lethargic and melodic and are a bit different from the typical dark ambient setting. You can definitely hear the input of each artist as they bring their signature sound to this musical alliance. Can’t recommend this one enough, especially if you’re looking for something to listen to while drifting off to never never land.

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/the-night-and-other-sunken-dreams

5. Leila Abdul-Rauf – ‘Phantasiai’

It’s not often we get a fascinating album with trumpet and glockenspiel performances, but here we are. ‘Phantasiai’ is a spellbinding album of bleak expression with chilling vocals and dreamy production. Cyclic Law continues to recruit the finest artist that are ready to deliver the best of their craft. Thankfully we have Leila Abdul-Rauf to continue the flow and this album fits in with a long list of stellar releases.

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/phantasiai

6. O Saala Sakraal – ‘Heven’

The concept of improvisation by O Saala Sakraal is a must listen and ‘Heven’ is one of those albums that will draw the listener in based on the sheer amazement of the unknown. Although only 21 minutes long, this collection of spontaneous incantations is both ritualistic and engaging. Soothing vocal parts with sinister narrations coalesce with haunting atmospherics to provide a post-apocalyptic feel without sounding dilapidated. I can’t wait to hear more from this artist and thanks again to Cyclic Law for continuing to release amazing albums like this.

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/heven

7. Muhd – ‘Dilogia’

‘Dilogia’ is another prime example of hypnotic ambience that builds in layers to achieve a fusion of synthwave and dark ambient excellence. Warm, harmonizing drones go through an assembly of thickening tones and modulated soundscapes to produce emotion canticles that represent an exceptional blend of retro and futuristic synth virtue. Also from the Cyclic Law label, it’s no wonder why this album made it into the lineup as it sounds fresh, inviting and completely divergent.

https://cycliclaw.bandcamp.com/album/dilogia

8. Yuko Nakai – ‘Me, And The Waters’

There is nothing more soothing than the blissful sounds of crystal bowls, harmonizing with natural soundscapes. Yuko Nakai excels in this area with a splendid three-track EP, ‘Me, And The Waters’. Fusing the sound of crashing ocean waves with extended hums of crystal bowls, beautifully arranged songs of scenic allure expel a magnitude of harrowing sequences that lure the listener in with unimaginable power. My only wish is that this album was about an hour long in order to fully appreciate its hypnotizing effect. Highly recommended for a deep, meditative experience.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/me-and-the-waters

9. Gdanian – ‘Submersion’

Gdanian is a new edition to the Cryo Chamber label lineup and upon initial listen, I can confirm that it’s the perfect label to release an album as alluring as this one. An oceanic-themed outing, ‘Submersion’ pulls no punches with including aquatic soundscapes and sub-surface atmospherics. Beautifully produced, each track immerses the listener into a vast world of unexplored adventure. With the feeling of unimaginable depth, there is no choice but to sit back and soak in (no pun intended) the bleak soundscapes and minimalistic drones. An amazing recording that should not be overlooked.

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/submersion

10. Lētum – ‘The Face Of Life And Death’

Lētum presents a cinematic nightmare of an album with ‘Tue Face Of Live And Death’. A conglomerate of disturbing samples and soundscapes backed by malevolent drones and pads. Horrifying vocal sequences are enough to to disrupt your sleeping pattern and send you down a vortex of enraged evil and madness. Coupled with theatric production values, this is a highly professional offering from one of Dark Ambient’s independent achievers. Recommended for Dark Ambient fans that don’t mind being on edge during a whole albums worth of menacing intonations.

https://letum.bandcamp.com/album/the-face-of-life-and-death

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Ager Sonus Takes Us On A Journey Through Ancient Civilizations On ‘Niflheim’

Over the years, the Cryo Chamber label has become my go-to label for top-quality, cinematic Dark Ambient music. Not only that, the label has introduced me to – what would become – some of my favorite artists of the genre. One of those artists is Ager Sonus. One thing that sets Ager Sonus apart is the inclusion of ancient mythological themes for each album and contrasting musical sounds that present a deep dive into the theme at hand. On latest album, ‘Niflheim’, Ager Sonus incorporates hoary deities and recollections similar to that of Norse mythology and civilizations. This alone creates a dynamic atmosphere that is supremely backed up theatrical ambient pieces, telling an age-old tale through superior musical expression.

Starting the album off in a tribalistic fashion is “Going North”. After a brief descent into dark modulations, a rhythmic beat begins and a variety of instrumentations treat us to a theatrical composition that depicts the beginnings of uncharted civilizations. Concluding with a jarring ambient section, this track sets a high mark for what will follow. “Murky Waters” introduces an array of field recordings and soundscapes that thwart this mystical journey into undiscovered realms. Synth leads create a chamber of wonder as it produces a visually bleak setting. Haunting vocal patterns and percussive moments broaden the scope of this intense recording. “Bonfire Stories” takes us back to ancient times of Viking warriors and the fight for land and heritage. This song creates such a magnificent image of natural landscapes and dark times of an age-old civilization with its pulsating beat and emotionally charged instrumentation. “Tundra” commences with a dark ambient vibe and slowly incorporates a mid-tempo, pulsating beat with Middle-Eastern influenced arrangements. I can imagine this song playing while venturing through a narrow alley with a multitude of people selling goods and pacing relentlessly as if there is no where in particular to visit. There is a sense of tense atmospherics as some sort of evil may be lurking around every corner. “Decay” has a beautiful new age vibe as a slower drum beat sets a steady cadence for alluring melodies and soundscapes. As crows let out harsh, modulated caws in the background, a sense of tranquility plays on through elegant tones. “Ghosts Of Battles Past” is one of the more darker tracks on the album, as bleak drones and sinister vocal patterns are featured. The flute-like leads produce a harrowing moment as serene charm and cold decay begin to fuse for a mesmerizing output. “Dreamland” continues the pace and aura of previous tracks with industrialized samples and a huge reverberated sound that produces a huge space for maximum audial control and imagination. Toward the middle of the track, an assembly of resonance – previously heard – slowly make their way into the mix and the outcome is simply amazing and addictive to listen to. This is without a doubt, one of my favorite tracks on the album. The final track, “Journey’s End”, supremely summarizes this spectacular album with evocative drones, natural field recordings and pounding beats that are more bombastic and destructive than they are rhythmic. However, it showcases the abrupt ending that was expected on this ancient expedition. The drones intensify and build in layers as this is probably the most traditional sounding Dark Ambient track on the album. Nevertheless, it’s such a soothing way to end an excursion that is full of triumphs, struggles and alluring engagement.

Ager Sonus never ceases to amaze me with his brand of cinematic Dark Ambient music. Whereas many of his albums are rooted and themed in existing ancient cultures, this album – in my opinion – is more inline with the beginning of times and how certain ancient cultures began. This is yet another amazing album from one of my favorite Cryo Chamber label artists and I highly recommend checking out ‘Niflheim’ if your itching for a wondrous audial adventure into ancient civilizations.

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Links:

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/niflheim

Drones Of A Lighter Nightmare Prevail on Sonologyst’s ‘Interdimensional’

I truly enjoy the bleakest of Dark Ambient albums. As with any other genre, there are times for a particular taste that maximizes the power of connection between music and the listener. One of my favorite sub-genres of Dark Ambient is Drone. Sure there are some similarities between Drone and say, Industrial Ambient but it has some differences as well. Instead of harsh tones and mechanized discordance, there is a reticent, more ominous sound that allows for the utmost space for meditation and a dream-like state for potential out-of-body experiences. One artist that majestically captures these types of moments is Sonologyst. The latest album, ‘Interdimensional’ is a top-rate experience in eerie modulations and dismal tones that are equally creepy as they are thought provoking. These six tracks create a dynamic world of gray, scenic prowess and a cold atmosphere that blurs the line between dark and light.

Haunting lead off track, “Ad Astra” slowly comes into picture, like a group of propelled planes slowly flying overhead, destined for a doomed mission. As soundscapes fuse this modulated terror, a complex scenario builds despite the minimalistic tones. The various sounds create a revolving intonation that builds and collapses, causing terrifying moments of anxiety and angst. The relentless chaos doesn’t let up, even as the track fades into oblivion. “Interdimensional Beings” immediately sets a lethargic pace with low-end rumbles and spots of synth notes that blend in chaotic discord. As this nightmare settles in, the tonal quality increases and expands to include random sound bytes and unhinged effects. As it nears the final moments, celestial tones produce a nostalgic effect, which shows a complete balance between disorder and minimalist aptitude. At just over four minutes long, “Paraphysical Phenomenon” is not only the shortest track on the album, but probably the most adventurous one as well. Beautiful synth melodies clash with spacious drones and the result is a mesmerizing blend of sonic tranquility that gives the illusion of endless travel beyond the deepest corridors of space. Going from the shortest song to the longest, ‘Through Memories And Galaxies” is a near fifteen minute ride through muffled voids and spacey vacuums and exudes a supremely addictive host for traveling through blissful territories of the mind. Barely audible vocal narrations and lengthy drones complete this lengthy effort that goes from dreamy modulations to terrifying screeches. “Multiverses” commences with some of the darkest drones presented on this collection of songs. Unparalleled soundscapes hint at a celestial vibe while the overall tone continues to thicken throughout. There are moments of psychedelic sound play that emphasizes a tumultuous moment in time. Complete with very eerie undertones, this is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The last track on the album is “God-Level Traveller” and it begins with very demented droning sound until a peculiar instance comes into play, altering the scaled synth notes at a slow pace. The natural hissing in the background adds a dreamy essence while minimalistic noise continues to gather, creating an abrasive tone that is quite quixotic. This is certainly an impactful statement to end this very dark and brooding musical collective.

Sonologyst exquisitely bridges the gap between several sub-genres of Dark Ambient music while producing elite electronic euphoria. ‘Interdimensional’ is masterclass in drone music that branches out with a plethora of haunting soundscapes and production tactics. The end result is an amazing album that is surly to stand the test of time. Don’t sleep on this album, as I highly recommend it for those that expect an esoteric and ominous audial output. Check it out at the link below and support this prodigious artist and the addictive music he produces.

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Links:

https://sonologyst.bandcamp.com/album/interdimensional

Ideal Father Examines The Despotic Aftermath Of An Industrial Age Coup With The Chilling, ‘Paradice Death’

The coldness of industrial music has a particular haunting effect that emits emotional angst, rebellion and sometimes fear. The influence of an industrial-themed environment is the essence for blazing energy across multiple genres of music. Boasting an apocalyptic setting or ventures in dystopian wastelands, Industrial music is a tantalizing hybrid of music and machine, joining forces to lay the foundation of corrupt manufacturing lineage. In the realm of Dark Ambient, industrialized influences play a crucial role on one of the genres most harsh sounding sub-forms. Ideal Father grasps that ideology and doesn’t hold back with delivering a savage performance in ‘Paradice Death’. Nine tracks of grinding decay is all that it takes to create a despondent world of barbarous and strident modulations to help desensitize the traumatic situations of futuristic environments.

The dissonant lead off track, “A Mind In Evil Ruin” pulls no punches as it crashes in like a video game character warping to a desolate world, right in the middle of scenic terror. Haunting, reverberated drones drift in like a sandstorm on a reluctant desert town, unable to flee the grasp of demise in any direction. A variety of effects set a creepy vibe as the wall of noise surrounds you in every direction with no viable means of escape. “In Paradice Death” commences with a supernatural narration that sounds like a menacing black metal styled vocal with an echo effect that is made for ruining all positive thoughts. A squall of ear-piercing synths and soundscapes project an even darker world of hatred and corruption while inaudible voices and screams can be heard throughout, cementing this nightmarish vision of disturbing results. “Blood Torrent” begins with heavily distorted tones that are reminiscent of the distant buzz of mechanical infrastructures running on autopilot and out of control. Various disturbances echo from left to right, as if you’re being stalked by a maniacal being. “Crepuscular Soul” emits a muffled, underwater sound that loops uncontrollably while discordant tones and buzzes build around it. This track also offers clean and clear synth passages that are just as poignant as the other, darker tones set forth on this album. It’s almost as if it’s playing a bizarre scale that is melodic in nature but instead discharges an accord of sadistic intent. “Tongue Mosaic” is one of the shorter songs in this brooding collection, but it’s intermittent spikes of tonal despair, set on top of a sustained drone, presents a harrowing look at nightmarish entities in the void of nothingness. “Crosshair Mantra” starts with a doom-laden drone with heavy modulated breathing sounds that soon fuse with vociferous synth shrills and gruesome effects. The field recordings in this track display a scene of horror and ferocious resolve toward the end of existence. Life forms become scarce as mechanical objects rebel and conquer in pre-programmed unison. “Wall Of Crying Eyes” is a minimalistic piece with divergent drones that sway in and out of audial captivity, while mechanical noises meander aimlessly in search of their next victim. Sonic and celestial modulations depict a retrospective vibe while the tonal distortion of assorted soundscapes create a sense of abandonment and isolation. The massively distorted take off of “Nobody Will Know” is a severe reminder of a condemned society and the point of no return to normalcy and conventional existence. As this dynamic increases in layers, the sound thickens into a spiteful wall of harmonized noise and it’s deafening quality becomes even more mesmerizing as it continues to play out. The final track on the album is “Dream Slurja”. Signaling the end of existence for living organisms, this minimalistic piece represents the true dawn of industrial power and it’s agonizing takeover of humanity. With a deficient dose of harsh effects, this is one of the more peaceful efforts in this collection but none less terrifying than the rest of the album. Hints of stifled vocals and discrete field recordings are antagonizing reminder of the strength of industrial components and the new mechanical civilization that will forever remain a dark spectacle of potent energy.

Ideal Father just may be my new go-to artist for when I desire the hasty sounds of industrial ambience. With only a few albums in circulation, ‘Paradice Death’ has proven to be a jolting experience in the harsher side of Dark Ambient music. This sound and style isn’t for everyone but for the unique audience that lives for this experience, then look no further than Ideal Father. Please show your support by checking out this album at the link below.

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Links:

https://idealfather.bandcamp.com/album/paradice-death

Fugue In Sea Absorbs Mythological Subject Matter For Enthralling Release, ‘Py-A-Saw’

If the thought of legendary creatures don’t get the creative juices flowing, I don’t know what does. The chimerical energy that is produced by such entities is not only astounding, but it creates a boundless spectacle for imaginative tales of nefarious beings and settings. Missouri-based electronic musician, Fugue In Sea, uses these obscure entities to an advantage by creating an unconventional soundtrack for their existence. ‘Py-A-Saw’ is a five track excursion that demonstrates the agility of music and how it can translate to a vicarious world of ingenious resolve. From Dark Ambient tones to hypnotic and industrialized sequences, this is twenty eight minutes of unprecedented and ritualistic storytelling.

“The Bird That Devours Men (Theme)” is the insanely crafted lead off track that commences with obscure sound bits and eclectic drones that drift slowly like frozen air flow over a daunting mountain peak. The bizarre sound effects carry on in a chaotic commotion as if frantically trying to communicate with other entities in an unfamiliar tone. Suddenly, the clamor resends into a particular calmness before fading into oblivion. “Attack Along The Mississippi” begins with a tribal-like cadence, as layers of peculiar effects rapidly ascend with stunning creativity. More communicative reverberations begin their sequence as an industrial screech comes bellowing in with menacing fortitude. Heavily distorted guitar shrills create a trance-like instance as this ritualistic track comes full circle. “Cave Of Bones” begins with a mix of ethereal soundscapes as somber drones quietly come into play. Constant, pulsating beats create an agonizing experience of bleakness while aggressive key’s emphasize an ambiguous setting for unknowingness. “The Return; Ouatoga’s Ambush; Aftermath” introduces and dark, industrial-type aggression with loud frequency screeches, heavy modulations and the sensation of an icy cold wasteland. A durable beat instills a harmonic essence of mechanized allurement for most of the track, but fades into a space ambient offering that is completely meditative. The final track on the album is “The Bird That Devours Men (reprise)”. This frigid offering continues with the space ambient theme by creating a droning void of eclectic sounds and effects that throttle the listener to a desolate demise. This ends the album on a very eerie note (literally) and you’ll immediately want to listen to this mythical experience all over again.

‘Py-A-Saw’ is a well put together, well thought out ambient adventure. Although just an EP, there is a ton of adventure and sonic madness that is typically experienced on a much longer dark ambient album. Fugues In Sea has the dexterity to incorporate many aspects of electronic music to create a symphony of auditory compositions that are unique and captivating. ‘Py-A-Saw’ is just another notch in the belt for hopefully a long career in Dark Ambient creativity for Fugue In Sea. Please check this album out at the link below and support this exceptional artist.

Please Like/Follow my blog so that you’ll get first hand updates every time I post a review. Thanks for visiting the Dungeon!!

Links:

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/py-a-saw

https://fugueinsea.bandcamp.com

Eyre Transmissions XVI: Interview With Improvisational Ambient Prodigy, Mora-Tau

I was first introduced to the wonderful world of Mora-Tau by way of his 2020 album, ‘The Light Of the Winter’. Something about it was very nostalgic…very haunting. Upon further probe into his Bandcamp page, I discovered an alluring and eclectic cosmos of improvisational recordings that are addictive and more importantly conceptualized based on a specific theme – particularly around horror, nightmares, worlds end and retrospective subject matter. Needless to say, Mora-Tau has become one of my favorite Dark Ambient producers and I couldn’t wait to have a conversation with him to find out what makes this project so unique and special. Hope you enjoy this interview.

1. Thank you very much for this interview opportunity. Mora-Tau has a rather short recording history but has left quite an impression on my. How did this project start for you?

As you pointed out, I only started publishing my work around 2009. I was born in 1959 and I will be 63 this year, so it’s not a long career.

For about 10 years, from the age of 15, I listened exclusively to progressive rock. I now listen to a wide range of music genres, including jazz, avant-garde music and club music, but most of it came through progressive rock. Even punk rock.

The most influential artists at that time were Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Mike Oldfield, Steve Hillage, Gong, Popol Vuh and of course King Crimson. Well, this is a very conventional list.

I started working under the name ‘mora-tau’ around 2008. I had been creating music before that. But I was satisfied with just playing them for my friends. I didn’t do any live performances. I had no formal musical education, so I’m not very good at playing an instrument. So I couldn’t even imagine the day when I would be playing in front of other people.

In 2008 or 2009, I discovered the music publishing website jamendo.com. By registering on that site, I was finally ready to release my music to the outside world. It was then that I named myself ‘mora-tau’. The name comes from my favourite 1950s horror film The Zombies of Mora-Tau (with my favourite actress Allison Hayes playing the bad girl, who turns into a zombie at the end).

Around the same time, an acquaintance invited me to perform at his shop (which was a bookshop) for almost the first time in my life. That was a lot of fun! And that was the start of my live career.

I consider myself ambient music, drone music and experimental music at the moment. I feel that these three genres are often balanced and mixed in one piece.

It was only after 2000 that I started to listen to this music seriously, in other words systematically and consciously. Before that, I was looking for my own music, imitating what I had heard. So it wasn’t until I started performing live that I got the style of music I was aiming for.

The first music that made a big impact on me was Eliane Radigue, a pioneer of electronic music who manipulated an ARP2500. I found the drone music she produced to be very simple, but with immense depth.

Another hero of mine is Morton Feldman. When I met Feldman, who produced very long, very slow music (sometimes over five hours of music), that music melded with Tangerine Dream, Harmonia and Eliane Radigue in my mind and became a big part of my own style It has given me suggestions.

This is ‘the origin of mora-tau’.

Wow, it’s a very long answer! I’m sorry.

2. I’ve noticed that on the liner notes of many of your recordings on Bandcamp your work mainly consists of improvisations. Do you typically have a plan of what you are going to play before recording or is it completely improvised?

I record almost all of my compositions as completely improvised performances. On very rare occasions I may write a musical score, but it is a sketch for memory.

However, in the last few years, I have often decided on a scale only at the beginning of a performance. Especially for live performances, I always decide on just the scale. Sometimes I move on to another scale during the performance, and sometimes I just finish it. The reason why I decide on it is simple. I don’t want to make a mistake in front of the audience :-).

Recorded performances are edited using DAW software. Sometimes it is just the same thing as played, with a few tweaks. In most cases, however, editing is essential. Balancing between tracks, noise reduction, sound quality adjustment, etc. are always done. The song is then cut into several parts. Sometimes I’ll delete parts, sometimes I’ll change the order, and sometimes I’ll layer completely different tracks that were previously unreleased. Sometimes I create a piece by layering several tracks that were recorded at completely different times and have different tempos, tunes and tonalities.

Once I have finished recording, I change my mind and think: ‘This is all just material’. And in the editing process, I emphasise an improvisational sensibility. I rarely work in advance. My style is as improvisational in the editing as it is in the performance itself.

3. You have quite a few live recordings from Bar Lynch (in Utsunomiya, Japan). How do you prepare for those sessions and how is the audience response to your work?

Lynch is a very small bar in a narrow alleyway; it overflows when 20 people arrive. The sound system for live shows uses the shop’s audio system. Otherwise, artists bring their own amplifiers.

I always have about three synthesisers available, with the necessary effectors connected to them, and record them on a mixer/recorder, a ZOOM R-16. The output from that is then input into Lynch audio.

https://mora-tau.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-lynch-oct-19-2021

So the sound quality is by no means top-notch. But because my recordings do not go through the shop audio, I can guarantee the same quality as studio work. Many of my customers listen to me while they chat. No, they are not listening? But some of them listen intently, clap seriously and ask questions after the performance. Yes, about one person every six months.

My turnout is very low, only a few people at most gigs. Sometimes there is only the master. On those occasions, I play around with phrases and developments that I think the master will enjoy. Of course, I never play to the extent that the whole structure collapses, though.

4. I lived in Japan for almost 24 years and really loved the music scene however, my only electronic concert experience was seeing Merzbow live in Tokyo a few times. How is the Electronic/Ambient scene in Japan these days?

Sorry, I actually don’t know anything about the music scene in Japan. I live in Utsunomiya-City, which is 100 km north of Tokyo. The famous Shinkansen bullet train will take you to Tokyo station in an hour, but I rarely go outside my area.
I’m like Rapunzel living in a tower.

I keep up to date with new music through streaming services such as Spotify, YouTube and CD shopping, but so far I haven’t found the Japanese scene to be very interesting.

5. You’ve made several recordings for International labels such as Church Of Noisy Goat (Brazil) and Kalamine Records (France). How did those endeavors come about?

Both labels approached me through them. I never approached them myself. I think they liked something about the music I was making and invited me.

https://kalaminerecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-october-landscape

6. Do you plan to release anymore albums with those labels, and possibly others?

Neither of the two labels has a specific release schedule. I send my work to them about four times a year. Then I ask them, “If you like it, will you release it?” I have never had anyone say “No”.

I will continue to regular releases, where possible. However, there is no fixed schedule. If invited by another label, I’ll see what they’re up to and think about it. Of course, my basic attitude is “anyone, anytime, is OK”.

https://thechurchofnoisygoat.bandcamp.com/album/wellcome-back-nuclear-summer

7. As for your music style and influence, how much of it is influenced by Japanese culture, folklore and spiritual meaning?

The deepest part of the psyche must be inseparably influenced by it. For example, many of the phrases I play unconsciously have a Japanese melody.

But it’s rarely conscious. Before making track, I watch a film or read books, looking for something to inspire me. If I’m inspired by something Japanese then I’m strongly influenced by it. I’ve never been aware of any other influences beyond that.

Of course, consciously or not, ‘Japan’ is firmly rooted in me. When I improvise, I am very conscious of this. Such as when I play the ‘Japanese phrases’ I mentioned earlier. Perhaps I am imprinting ‘Japan’ more deeply in my mind through improvisation.

8. One of my favorite albums by you is called ‘Swirl’. It has a very retrospective and minimalistic vibe to it. What was it like to record this album and what is the meaning behind this amazing music?

Thank you very much. I like that album very much too.

At that time, I was thinking of putting my impressions of the B-Movies of the 50’s to music.
The theme is “guidelines for music production” for me. The light of the lighthouse. A guide to the completion of the work.

This is the case with most of my work.
I say to myself ‘Let’s start to make music inspired by “The Thing”! ‘. But when done, it can be The Thing, but it can also be “Quatermass Xperiment”, or “Frankenstein”, or “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas”. You must have been disgusted at how lazy it was.

https://mora-tau.bandcamp.com/album/swirl

Shortly before making ‘Swirl’ I bought an analogue synthesizer with a sequencer. And I wanted to use it to make endless music. That’s how I started with my technical interests.

It’s all about how to combine different approaches: adjusting parameters to make small changes, changing effects in real time, using delays to layer sounds from other equipment. “Swirl” is the result of this research into how different approaches can be combined to create long ambient pieces of music. It’s the honest answer. I’m sorry if I’ve disappointed you.

9. There is another album called ‘Still Here’. In my opinion, this is one of your darkest recordings. What was the main focus behind this album?

This one, contrary to ‘Swirl’, was made with technology I already had at my disposal.

First, there was ‘Story’, which I wrote in the liner notes. How can I live in a world where the world has disappeared and no one can hear me? This was expanded upon in Still Here.

https://mora-tau.bandcamp.com/album/still-here

At the same time, I was obsessed at the time with the image of a ‘world on the brink of destruction’ as depicted by J.G. Ballard. I felt that I was living in a terrible world, in a time when I was trapped.
To express this, I partly used contemporary musical techniques such as atonal and whole-tone scales. I think these techniques also promote darkness.

10. One of your latest albums is called ‘Brave New World’. However, in the liner notes, you state, “There is No New World Anywhere”. How does that tie in to the music on the album and what is the meaning behind this recording.

Mmm…
When write it like that, it seems to express a deep philosophy. But there’s a bit of deception there.

It started from my own feeling that “there’s nothing new in this album. Every part of it is a repetition of what I’ve done before”.

https://mora-tau.bandcamp.com/album/brave-new-world

Of course, I don’t always try new things in all my work. I think it’s fine to use only familiar techniques of expression, if the resulting work is emotional. That’s why I can write “There is no ‘new world’ anywhere.” It’s a self-deprecating joke!

The music for the album was done, I thought “This album is GOOD!”. But I couldn’t think of a title. At first I thought of “fragment of memories”, but then I thought it sounded like the title my past albums. After a few days of deliberation, I decided on the current title as a kind of compromise.

11. I’m really interested to learn about the equipment you use for recording? Can you please share your setup to the fans?

The main equipment is listed below. This is where we choose and combine the equipment for our gigs.

Analog Synth:
Moog Sub Phatty
Arturia minibrute
Behringer Crave
Pico System Erica Synth

Virtual Analog Synth:
Yamaha CS1x
Modal Electronics SKULPT Synthesizer
E-mu Proteus2000

Soft Synth:
Future Audio Workshop Circle 2

DAW Software:
Audacity

Effector:
Delay
BOSS DD-20 GIGA DELAY
tc electronic Flashback2
JOYO D-SEED II

Reverb
BOSS Digital Reverb RV-5
Behringer RV600 Reverb Machine

Looper
BOSS Loop Station RC-3
tc electronic DITTO X4 Looper

Multi Effector
ZOOM G2

12. Other than Bar Lynch, do you play live gigs at other venues?

Yes.
Since last year I have been playing at ‘Igno…. . book plus’ (an antiquarian bookshop) every three months or so. There are also a few live music venues where can play. All of them are in Utsunomiya city.

13. Do you plan to release any physical media of any of your albums or will you stick with digital releases?

I actually released a CD a few years ago under the title “the old village”. 300 copies were made and over 200 are still unsold. I don’t think releasing any more CDs. It’s too costly. I would like to release a cassette tape.

14. I’m always looking forward to hearing new music from you. What do you have planned for releases in 2022?

Thank you very much. In 2022 I’m aiming to release an album every month, hopefully one that You will like.

15. Thanks again for your time and for sharing your musical journey. Do you have any final thought for those that will read this interview?

I was born in 1959, so I don’t think I’ll have another ten years to be an active musician. Nevertheless, I don’t want to stop playing music and I hope to go deeper into it. If you don’t mind, I would be very happy if you could stay with me for a while longer.

Links:

BC: https://mora-tau.bandcamp.com

IG: https://instagram.com/sleepshow

Celestial Ephemerides: A Collection Of Dark Ambient Summary Reviews, Part V

It’s almost mind numbing to see how great the Dark Ambient genre has not only grown, but expanded in sound. It seems as if harsh noise and industrial ambience is coming more into existence and coupling with the bleak intonations of Dark Ambient soundscapes and drones. The albums in this list represent change, growth and also homage to the influences of modern day Dark Ambient music. I hope you enjoy these summary reviews as much as I did putting them together.

1. The Owl – Beyond The Vastness Of Infinity

The Owl specialized in noise terror and monstrous modulations that are presented in a controlled chaos offering. ‘Beyond The Vastness Of Infinity’ is an improvised endeavor that plays on the decline of normalcy and the abruptness of ataxia. Rigid guitar tones set against the strident sounds of industrialized soundscapes and eerie narrations set a precedence of tonal despondency. As mesmerizing as it is turbulent, this albums is just another gem in the vast The Owl discography.

https://theowl.bandcamp.com/album/55-beyond-the-vastness-of-infinity

2. Aleksis Tristan Shaw – Loud Nothing

Multi-talented, multi-genre artist Aleksis Tristan Shaw, once again dabbles in the world of Dark Ambient music with the twisted oblation, ‘Loud Nothing’. Combining the forces of demented horror sounds, spacious soundscapes and drifting drones, this is a compelling story of electronic proportions. Elongated drones provide a hypnotic state while supernatural subtleties and sequences keep the listener from completely going under with hints of smoldering tension. At times, spacey, and other times downright grim, this recording is a full offering of Dark Ambient amusement and is fascinating to say the least.

https://aleksistristanshaw.bandcamp.com/album/loud-nothing

3. Crepuscular Entity – Zwolf Bagatellen

‘Zwolf Bagatellen’ is an exercise in harsh frequency delivery and the chaotic amplification of audial discord. Consisting of twelve tracks of white noise, with belligerent modulations, this is a test of determination and surviving the true grit of noise ambience. Filled with abrupt soundscapes and extreme reverberation, this album is a massive overdose of music that is meant to overtake the sense and infiltrate the mind. Listen at your own risk but prepare to be amazed at the indulgence of extreme electronic music.

https://crepuscularentity.bandcamp.com/album/zwolf-bagatellen

4. Drone Islands – Volume I / II / III

‘Drone Islands – Volume I /II / III’ is a massive collection of ambient magnificence, containing beautiful audial offerings from an array of artists. This album combines the work of all Drone Island releases to include, ‘Land Rising’, ‘The Lost Maps’ and ‘Stellar’. Some of the biggest names in the Dark Ambient community lend their services to this recording such as Ashtoreth, Kammarheit, BlackWeald, Taphephobia, Alphaxone and Infinexhuma. These types of collective albums are a real treat, as you get a cluster of unique musical achievements in a single album. This is an exemplary collection that must be heard.

https://eighthtowerrecords.bandcamp.com/album/drone-islands-volume-i-ii-iii

5. Long The Night – Illusion

‘Illusion’ is an assemblage of beguiling drones with cinematic-like production. Although starting out with a light ambient vibe, the mood swiftly changes on track two, “Untold Mind” and a belligerent tone is thrusted into this space ambient endeavor. These songs sequentially crescendo into a mammoth-like sound and slowly fade out into oblivion before shifting to the next moment of surprising moments. There are moments that are influenced by the Warhammer 40k sound, while the majority of the album is like a dark space excursion. This is an excellent album that fits right in with some of the top names in the genre.

https://kalpamantra.bandcamp.com/album/illusion

6. Pavor Nocturnus – Bosch

Pavor Nocturnus specializes in flowing light drones that are delivered in an obscure pallet of ominous soundscapes, torturous industrial sounds and peaceful samples and field recordings. All fused together, this is an eerily harmonious endeavor that will be pleasing to fans of multiple Dark Ambient sub-genres. ‘Bosch’ is eclectic blend of soulful modulations that don’t have a particular flow (from track to track), but works very well in the overarching concept of the album. This is an amazing recording that I cannot recommend enough.

https://musicpavornocturnus.bandcamp.com/album/bosch

7. Sij & Textere Oris – Reflections At The Sea

Sij & Textere Oris is one of the most fascinating Dark Ambient collaborations on the Cryo Chamber label roster. Although only having released two albums on the giant label, they are both top quality endeavors that are unique in their own way. On latest effort, ‘Reflections At The Sea’, soothing drones are met with enchanting vocal melodies and theatrical reverberations that produces a theatrical-like sound. From piano chops to random sound effects, this album is put together magnificently and will warrant multiple listens. This is definitely one not to miss.

https://cryochamber.bandcamp.com/album/reflections-at-the-sea

8. Melanohelios – The Durance Machine

In my opinion, Melanohelios doesn’t put out music often enough. There is something very addictive with Melanohelios albums and I can’t quite put my finger on it. However, I can say that what you’ll get with each album is an exclusive listening experience – one just as good as the next. On ‘The Durance Machine’, there are two tracks of mind-melding drone work that lasts the better part of thirty six minutes. While listening, you’ll find yourself drifting between peaceful experiences and terrifying moments that flow together with extreme transparency. This is another alluring album from such a reclusive entity.

https://melanohelios.bandcamp.com/album/the-durance-machine

9. Marco Pianges – Somewhere

Dark tones and blistering keys set the backdrop for this escapade of quality electronic tracks. With a plethora of samples and soundscapes, this short album is a cacophony of aggressive moment and angst-filled resilience. The genius aspect of this album is the malevolence hidden in the peaceful details – like a field of beautiful flowers in the dead of winter. Even with just twenty minutes of playing time, this five track album is a beast to contend with and will surely please all fans of Dark Ambient music.

https://ukhanrecords.bandcamp.com/album/somewhere

10. Northumbria – Isolering

If you’re a fan of Dark Ambient music, you should at least be aware of the haunting entity known as Northumbria. With a list of unrivaled albums on the Cryo Chamber label, the stringed duo often ventures out independently and continues to produce quality ambience. On 2021’s ‘Isolering’, we’re presented with four ominous tracks containing nearly seventy five minutes worth of mesmerizing intonations. These extended efforts take the listener down a blackened path and instill a relentless blend of lethargic tones and reverberated modulations that are simply paralyzing. In my opinion, this is one of their best efforts and the mood that it sets is quite compelling.

https://northumbria.bandcamp.com/album/isolering

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Colonial Skyway Presents A Compelling Take On Dissonant Clamor With ‘Evening On Earth’

There are many things in life that we take for granted on a daily basis. Even something as simple as subtle noises and sounds becomes less observed as we pick and choose which signals to process for an action or reaction. Of course our minds are programmed to react to daily nuances such as vibrations of a text message coming in on our cellular devices, a car horn as it signifies the moment of possible incident, an alarm clock as it pulls us out of our indulgent, hibernating state or even voice communication by our family, friends and coworkers – sometimes a complete stranger. However, there is another underlying tension, the ambient rumbles of reoccurring instances that we take for granted or don’t even pay attention to all together. There is true significance behind the droning sounds that are often terrifying, annoying and even chaotic that we subconsciously ignore, but they are there for a reason. The sounds are derivative of processes and movement that have a deeper meaning, indirectly executing the underlying fabric of society that nonchalantly pass us by. It’s these very things that are represented on the latest Colonial Skywave album, ‘Evening On Earth’ that are now brought to the forefront of the mind in order for us to understand – and even appreciate – their significance. Eight tracks of masterful droning in its most minimalistic state, yet so full of life, that it truly needs to be heard to be welcomed as a productive part of society.

“Stars On The Ground” slowly crescendo’s into a looping hiss of a mechanical nature, almost as if a gear were stuck in a failed rotation and continued with repeated attempts to proceed with its forward movement. As the nuance perpetuates, a grazing hum comes into focus, easing the tension of the core commotion while inducing a meditative form. Just as the listener eases into this dynamic configuration, these sounds begin to defuse and ultimately fade into oblivion. “Keylapes” proceeds down the dark path of heavy machinery and the purr of high speed cycles, proving the successful syntonization of synthetic equipment. Random bursts of manufacturing effects adds a layer of cyclic activity that may seem random, but is the result of melding productivity and arduous combustions that creates a uniquely resonating sound signature. “Fairway” presents another heavy, arduous drone with looping chugs of industrial strength apparatuses, carrying on with the tedious task of unmistakable agitation. As this motion eternizes, it’s apparent that a malevolent force is strong at work. With no decrease of movement in site, it slowly fades away into obscurity, even though the harshness continues to plagues the airways that it surrounds. Continuing on with the looping essence is, “Off At Dawn”. Industrial dreariness is replaced with digitized intonations with the penchant for coding errors and computerized alarms instead of machinery malfunctions. The sonic apprehension of looping buzzes gives the impression of abnormal functionality, but the abhorrent continuation of the main sounds signify error override, as the collusion of systems advance without a care in the world. “Areas Of Drifting” commences with the synchronizing strum that is very reminiscent of a full scale orchestra coming into unified harmony after much needed adjustment to playing a single tuning note. Instead of everything comes to a halt – at the request of the conductors triple baton tap – the notes are held in alliance, while relaxation overcomes the listeners whim. Next is “Lonely Tolls” and it’s exactly what I’ve envisioned with the given track title. An interstate toll booth worker, laboring through the dreadful night shift, where the constant flow of traffic has been replaced with the languid resonance of emptiness and distant sounds not normally observed. The tolling of cryptic bells declares a mysterious warning of unforeseen events. A steady volume of rain hits the roof of the tool booth like an intrusive static, adding to the ambience of the other sounds. “Forth Selector Stepping” slowly seeps in like daybreak, where aberrant sound of the night seize and give way to an endless vacuum of light despondency. Bridging the gap of the known and unknown, this track acts as the medium for what’s left behind and what’s yet to occur. The final track on the album is “After Dark”, a deep, meditative drone that suggests a particular crepuscule of dead air and distant exertion. Although one doesn’t overpower the other, there is a sense of struggle beyond the threshold of existence. This track summarize the entire album perfectly as this compelling drone embodies the journey of noises and sounds crafted by mankind (and natural occurrences) and wraps them up in a coercive bleakness of axiomatic energy, despite the situation.

In conclusion, the sounds we take for granted are a beautiful thing and relative to life on Earth as we know it. Often mistaken as meaningless nuisances, they are simply the collateral return of a productive and mechanized society. Colonial Skyway again produces a magnificent soundscape of representation and blissful moments of droning endeavors. ‘Evening On Earth’ is a societal soundtrack to a world of underground chaos that is often overlooked, yet needed for perpetual existence. This meditative offering is one of my favorites of the year so far and provides me with a pleasing dose of hypnotic artistry on a regular basis. Don’t hesitate to check this one out if you’re into minimalistic drone music. Click on the link below to support this one of a kind experience.

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Links:

https://submarinebroadcastingco.bandcamp.com/album/evening-on-earth