Tag: Przemyslaw Murzyn

Shinkiro – Archive: Volumes I-III – Review

Artist: Shinkiro
Album: Archive: Volumes I-III
Release date: 15 June 2018
Label: Old Captain

CD 1 Archive: Volumes I – II
01. I.A.D. – Day 1
02. I.A.D. – Day 2
03. I.A.D. – Day 3
04. I.A.D. – Day 4
05. I.A.D. – Day 5
06. I.A.D. – Day 6
07. I.A.D. – Day 7
08. I.A.D. – Day 8
09. I.A.D. – Day 9
10. Reflections Of Her Deepest Fears – First Stage
11. Reflections Of Her Deepest Fears – Second Stage
12. Reflections Of Her Deepest Fears – Third Stage
13. Reflections Of Her Deepest Fears – Fourth Stage
14. Reflections Of Her Deepest Fears – Fifth Stage

CD 2 Archive: Volumes II – III
01. Reflections Of Her Deepest Fears – Sixth Stage
02. Reflections Of Her Deepest Fears – Seventh Stage
03. Reflections Of Her Deepest Fears – Final Stage
04. One – Part I
05. One – Part II
06. One – Part III
07. One – Part IV
08. One – Part V
09. One – Part VI

Shinkiro is another project to give the public access to its archives, give the opportunity to look into the past and watch how its style took shape over the years. More and more, such releases are out these days, old recordings, reissues, “extended versions” of debut albums and so, and so… I have an ambivalent attitude towards them, I mean it’s nice to have the easy possibility to get the discographies of complete projects, especially when many of these ‘archive’ albums aesthetically look even better than the originals (and the case of Shinkiro there is no exception – it’s a nice 2CD 4-panel gloss-laminated digipack). But, sometimes I think that in this world of easy access to everything, it’s good to have something to look for, the hard to find rarities, the music people heard of but didn’t actually experience.

Of course, the status of Shinkiro, even in the dark ambient micro-scale is not as significant as the legends of the genre. But, it has its own style which captured some souls around the world, including myself. Easy to guess that, since it’s called Volumes I-III, then it must be split into three segments. The first one is called I.A.D., nine tracks, formally from the pre-Shinkiro era. They have never been released, this is the first time they see the light of day. And it’s not that Shinkiro you know from the other albums, these compositions are far more claustrophobic. They make you feel as if you are closed in some sort of boiler room where it is as dark as it is hot. This first section is from that time when Manabu was experimenting with harsher, more industrial sound attributes. But, he eventually realized that it’s not the path he wanted to follow. To be fair, I.A.D. also includes more rhythmic and melodic parts than the studio albums from early era Shinkiro.

The second segment is Reflection Of Her Deepest Fears, the previously unreleased album recorded simultaneously with the official debut, Deep Blue. Shinkiro calls it “the factual 2nd album”. It’s two steps closer to the essential dark ambient form, although still quite distant from his most majestic moments of deep organic space. More like a horror soundtrack, Reflection Of Her Deepest Fears becomes better and better with each consecutive piece, reaching the climax in two last “Stages”, intense and captivating.

The final segment of this epic compendium is One, made by assembling selected materials from 2003-2007 and adapting them to today’s Shinkiro vision of music. And, this is beauty. The kind of ambient to drown in. Deep drones of the opening composition make me feel so alone in space. It’s a pleasant feeling. Later he blends them with ritual parts and the oriental touch, always subtle, yet so charming.

So, with this release my Shinkiro collection seems complete, but… a couple of days ago I’ve read information somewhere that Manabu is re-working another set of old recordings, so apparently there’s still at least one section in his sound library that hasn’t been open to the public yet.

Written by: Przemyslaw Murzyn

Sielwolf & Nam-khar – Oppressfield – Review

Artist: Sielwolf & Nam-khar
Album: Oppressfield
Release date: 23 January 2017
Label: Sombre Soniks

01. Platium Insert
02. Cron Tabs
03. Oppressfield
04. Failed States
05. Crypt Trap
06. Exorial

The second installment of Sielwolf and Nam-Khar partnership comes about 16 months after the first segment called Atavist Craft, which I remembered as a decent piece of dark ambient with a ritual touch. And that’s basically all that I could recall as it was a well crafted but not particularly memorable release, especially in the times when new music attacks you almost every day. But before writing this review I played their first album again a couple of times and my vague impressions from the past have found the confirmation – maybe not original, but highly enjoyable – in dark ambient understanding of that word – fifty minutes of music.

Interesting story with this Sielwolf project – they were active in the early nineties, as an industrial band often compared to legendary Einstürzende Neubauten. Then they went on hiatus for around 20 years and came back in 2015, not with a huge reunion though, but with this inconspicuous collaboration with a relatively young dark ritual ambient project. I think Nam-Khar has a bright – or dark – future ahead, as he’s obviously a talented fellow, although in my opinion he has a lot of potential which is still to be discovered and revealed.

Today I think I like Atavist Craft better. It’s a matter of personal taste – that one was more atmospheric and leaving more space for meditation. The Eastern ritual elements have also played a more important part there, while Oppressfield – especially the first three pieces – is focused rather on the dark industrial side of things. Also, the sound seems to be more dry and inflexible. Mechanical and soulless. Oppressive as the title suggests. There’s a lot of raw industrial horror on this CD, some clattering of unknown origin, hums and buzzes, which you don’t know from which device they’re generated. The first composition I really like without any objections is the fourth one on the album, “Failed States” where the drones reach an almost perfect level of density, the industrial feeling is diminishing and making a place for a truly intense dark ambient with the cool quasichoir parts hidden between other layers. Also the longest composition, “Crypt Trap” is worth attention, with its slowly pulsating rhythms and the overall temperance which makes the music more anxious and eerie than those rather straightforward tracks which dominate the first half of the album. It somehow reminds me of that H. P. Lovecraft short story I read many years ago, In The Vault, about the guy, well… trapped in the crypt. But it’s not only the title’s suggestion, this track is indeed creepy and claustrophobic.

It’s still a fine album, especially for those who prefer the louder forms of ambient music. Thoroughly deliberated from beginning to end. And the good thing is that the guys are not interested in repeating themselves and while you can easily recognize that both collaborations were composed and performed by the same projects, you can’t deny that they differ from one another quite significantly.

Written by: Przemyslaw Murzyn


Przemyslaw Murzyn – Reviewer

Name: Przemyslaw Murzyn
Location: Katowice, Poland
Languages: English, Polish
Contact: santasangre.magazine@gmail.com
Social Media Profiles: Facebook
Outside projects:
Santa Sangre Magazine
Embers Below Zero: Bandcamp, Facebook

Kryptogen Rundfunk – Liquid Circuits – Review

Artist: Kryptogen Rundfunk
Album title: Liquid Circuits
Release date: 7 October 2016
Label: Zhelezobeton

This is the first review on This Is Darkness by Przemyslaw Murzyn known for his respected and well-revered zine, Santa Sangre!

I stumbled upon this very cool sounding name quite often, on the occasion of various splits, collaborations, compilations or live show announcements on social media. So I have to admit, I was a bit surprised when I realized that Liquid Circuits is only the second album by this project run by Zhelezobeton label manager. Second album in 12 years – who would’ve thought?

So I guess we should expect something epic – a creme de la creme of all Artyom’s ideas that had been born in his mind during all those years. I’m guessing it might be the essence of his creativity, as the album is quite huge in all possible aspects: its duration, production, atmosphere and the abundance of used sounds and effects. At the same time, it is representative of the Russian industrial scene and their cherishing of analogue synths and the meaty, natural form of the sounds instead of purely digital output. Check the booklet and the technical specification of Liquid Circuits to see in detail what kind of equipment Artyom has used.

Kryptogen Rundfunk music is hard to classify because several musical fascinations are playing an equal role here. It is experimental, because even for a not very experienced listener it seems obvious that the artist is often improvising and checking the possibilities of the equipment and the sound forms it is able to create. It is industrial perhaps even “dark” industrial thanks to the machinesque and soulless feeling. The rhythmic pulsations, hums, diverse noises, radio waves make you feel like you’re inside a giant electric device or installation full of – not necessarily liquid – circuits, coils and resistors. Its purpose is still to be determined, but it doesn’t include a human factor in any aspect.

More in the background you’ll notice a few dark ambient inclinations as sometimes the sounds take a more drone-like shape, like for example in the third track, “Pyramidoid”. The drones and textures are also filling the holes in the composition structures, they’re like concrete which bonds the whole thing into one monolithic construction. And on top of that a pinch of noise, not very aggressive, just underlining the cold and mechanical character of the album, having no ideology, no message to the people, which in this case is so unnecessary. Unless you consider the immersion with the music literally and feel that your soul is merging with the integrated circuits making one half-organic, half-artificial entity. After all, who knows if it isn’t the future of humanity. Something of which we should all be afraid.

So is it a unique album? By all means no, we were drowning in these atmospheres a lot of times in the past. But at the same time, Liquid Circuits gives a whole lot of listening pleasure as it is a well prepared dish for all the connoisseurs of honest, quite old-school industry devoid of useless flashiness.

Written by: Przemyslaw Murzyn

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: