Month: September 2017 (Page 2 of 2)

Altarmang – Artist Spotlight


Altarmang
is the musical project of Kenneth Hansson and Pär Boström. They contributed the second pre-order/preview track to the new compilation This Is Darkness Presents Vol.1 Dark Ambient was created by Altarmang.

We should all be familiar with the works of Pär Boström. He is best known for his project Kammarheit. Later he started the project Cities Last Broadcast, which has grown to a level of almost equal fame as Kammarheit. Over the last two years, Pär began the label Hypnagoga Press with his sister Åsa. The two have released three issues of The Solar Zine so far on their label, along with the album Orgelhuset, the debut by their shared musical project Hymnambulae. If you’d like to get a more in-depth look at what Pär and Åsa Boström have to say about their Hypnagoga Press, I recommend you read my previous interview with the two of them, which can be found here.

We were first introduced to Kenneth Hansson on the album Void, by Altarmang. Void was first released as a cassette exclusively packaged with The Solar Zine Issue No. 2, which is now sold-out, though you can still get copies of issues no. 1 & 3 here.

”They depict this process as a creative as well as a spiritual one. Altogether the album Void was re-worked and completed during five sessions. Each session started with preparing and burning incense, to set space and center.
’Kenneth is a real alchemist. He chose what herbs to use and explained their unique quality. I sat next to him, inhaling the atmosphere, letting my mind wander’ Pär says.
’The preparations were for setting space and shifting into a focused and trance-like state. All five sessions tapped into that space and state’ says Kenneth.”

– Interview with Altarmang, The Solar Zine, issue 2.

The album was well received and was quickly picked up by Autarkeia for a vinyl release, which can be found here. Shortly afterward Cyclic Law announced that they would be releasing the album in a CD digipak version along with two more previously unreleased tracks. That version is set for release on 22 September 2017 and can be found here. In preparation for the digipak release Altarmang have created a music video for the track “Salamander” one of the new tracks that will be included on the Cyclic Law version of Void.

Altarmang links:
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/altarmang/
Void Digital Release on Hypnagoga Press:
https://altarmang.bandcamp.com/album/void
Void Vinyl Release on Autarkeia:
http://www.autarkeia.org/main.php?lang=en&menu=label
Void CD Digipak Release on Cyclic Law:
http://www.cycliclaw.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=1561

Aseptic Void – Artist Spotlight

 


The first track on our new compilation This Is Darkness Presents Vol.1 Dark Ambient is by Aseptic Void.

Aseptic Void is the project of Davide Terreni of Montopoli in Val d’Arno, Italia. He started out his musical endeavors with an academic training on the violin. In 2009 he began his dark ambient project Aseptic Void. In 2013 he released his first album, Carnal.

Later that year, he would go on to release his second album, Psychosis, on the Cryo Chamber label, which at the time was just building its foundations.

To date, Aseptic Void is probably the most well recognized for his soundtrack to the video game The Town of Light which was released in February of 2016.

Aseptic Void uses a combination of dark ambient and experimental music to create crushingly dark tones. His sounds could likely be classed within a sub-genre which we could loosely call horror ambient.

Last Innocence by Aseptic Void

He often exhibits his paintings and they have been used several times for his album covers.

“Psychology is close to my music, because I put in place a continuous catharsis… using the language of sounds to externalize my desires, recounting what lies inside of my head. I started making music for extreme communicative exigency. I always look for the best moment of inspiration for the realization of my music. I love composing at night, when the silence and tranquility envelop me. My paintings help me to complete this ‘mechanism of expression’. Painting is another art form that helps me.”

Aseptic Void links:
Official Site: Http://www.asepticvoid.altervista.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/asepticvoid
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AsepticVoid
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/asepticvoid/

Hoor-Paar-Kraat – The Place of the Crossing – Review

Arist: Hoor-Paar-Kraat
Album: The Place of the Crossing
Release date: 14 January 2017
Label: Chthonic Streams

Tracklist:
01. Part One
02. Part Two

Hoor-Paar-Kraat is one of the musical projects of surrealist painter Anthony Mangicapra. He’s been releasing music for over 15 years on various labels. However, my first encounter with this musician was through this latest release, The Place of the Crossing, on Chthonic Streams.

The sounds of Hoor-Paar-Kraat fall somewhere between the realms of experimental, ambient, dark ambient, noise and neo-classical among probably several other potential tags. Needless to say, with this wide range of genre associations the music is quite interesting throughout the 22-minutes of this cassette release.

There are only two tracks on this album, which are unnamed. The only cue of a separation between the two tracks is the segregation between two sides of the cassette. The music on Part 1 is a gradually progressing aural experience. The sounds incorporated seem to be almost too numerous to fully document. The track starts off in a complete silence that slowly introduces some field recordings of various sounds which amount to maybe something shuffling around on a table. From there is presumably an acoustic guitar which is heavily treated with delay, subtle drones fade in and out of the mix, and a plethora of other natural and/or synthetic instruments come and go. There seem to be tape-loops making up at least some portion of the foundation of this track, though the experimental nature of the track makes it hard to fully settle on any one concrete conclusion. There is a bit of a lull in the middle of the track, before it gradually picks up intensity in the second half; harsher drones becoming the dominant element.

Part 2 starts off abruptly with the sounds of classical music being heavily manipulated, likely by means of manually spinning a record, forward, backward, slowly and then much faster and back again. These manipulated classical sounds continue on for several minutes, at times feeling like something that could be comparable to the vinyl manipulations of The Caretaker. By the time we reach the middle of the track, these classical manipulations have faded and been replaced by something much more electronically/digitally oriented. Strange noises, likely originating from some sort of synthesizer effects provide a base for the soundscapes with vocals being played in reverse just beneath the surface of the mix. Like the previous track, as we move toward the end the sounds become harsher before slowly fading back into silence.

While it is necessary to use words like harsh and noise to describe some of this music, these elements never move into a territory which would become overwhelming. The beauty of The Place of the Crossing is its ability to be at once heavily experimental and occasionally noisy without ever taking it too far. Restraint is used perfectly to keep the sounds right on this threshold without ever going too far into the harsh noise or chaotically experimental territories. Though these elements create the entirety of the album, it still feels like an often relaxing and always interesting musical experience.

The physical release of this album is presented beautifully by Chthonic Streams in the form of a simplistic yet elegant looking cassette accompanied by an autographed art print and single sheet of high quality paper which presents the albums credits. These are all delivered in a black portfolio box.

The cassette seems to be the perfect format for an at times noisy and experimental release of this sort. The manipulations of the soundscapes presented by Hoor-Paar-Kraat will quite likely leave the listener a bit concerned on the first play-through as there are sections where the music literally sounds like the tape is being eaten by the tape player. I find this to be a clever and entertaining element of the product. Its as if the musician is breaking through that fourth wall, giving them the ability to further mess with the mind of the listener.

As my first foray into the works of the Chthonic Stream label, I find this release to be a pleasant listen. It has enough diversity of sounds to keep the listener thoroughly entertained on an active listen, while simultaneously never pushing the boundaries so far as to be a complete disruption on a more passive listening session. The physical release is well thought-out and seems to be masterfully prepared. I would certainly recommend this to listeners who dabble in experimental music. The album is just experimental enough to be a novel experience, without ever going so far as to sound chaotic, a balance which is often missed on these sorts of endeavors.

Written by: Michael Barnett

Rafael Anton Irisarri – The Shameless Years – Review

Artist: Rafael Anton Irisarri
Album: The Shameless Years
Release date: 25 August 2017
Label: Umor Rex

Tracklist:
01. Indefinite Fields
02. RH Negative
03. Bastion
04. Sky Burial
05. Karma Krama
06. The Faithless

Rafael Anton Irisarri releases a monolithic exploration of hominin calamity.

Ambient music falls under a distinct spectrum of effect. Some artists evoke alternate mental spaces, others provide a space for listeners to reconcile themselves to the present world, and many accomplish a bit of both. New York’s post-minimalist composer Rafael Anton Irisarri has traversed several ends of this spectrum, but his latest effort comes as an austere acknowledgement of the human experience in all of its dismal magnitude. The Shameless Years stands as one of Irisarri’s most honest and passionate releases to date.

It’s hard to avoid falling into despair when looking at the world’s current state of affairs, but Irisarri has no intention of denying any unhappy realities. Through gargantuan dream symphonies, The Shameless Years imparts a coming-to-terms story over-arched by lamentations about mankind’s regression into an audacious era.

These six tracks remain shrouded in murky soundscapes, non-linear structures and dynamic plateaus. However, “Indefinite Fields” is immediately the modulative might of The Shameless Years. Spellbinding refrains navigate through a maze of oceanic white noise, gently pushing along synthetic hypnotism and seismic chord changes. The following “RH Negative” further front-loads the album’s melodic qualities, capturing the desolation left in the wake of intolerant outlooks. Irisarri stacks layer upon layer of rumbling sub-bass and distorted guitar strains on a cinematic lead as clanking percussion pushes it to an overwhelming climax of melancholic splendour.

Though the meat of The Shameless Years revels in nebulous gloom, Irisarri still wears his heart on his sleeve as he grapples with his finality. “Bastion” heralds the album’s descent into droning immensity, simultaneously pulverizing and assuaging the senses with its blend of refined arrangement and aural oblivion.

Irisarri’s vast orchestrations partly spring from the recognition that he has now outlived his father at only 40 years of age, the resulting textural cushion allows listeners to ride a transcendent crescendo towards profound acceptance of their limitations within a chaotic universe. “Sky Burial” returns to melody as quasi-choral inflections soar above suffusive meanderings, but Irisarri stays true to form by never fully locking into a form. His amorphous notation gives a cosmic perspective on existential turmoil.

The Shameless Years arguably reaches its most impactful territory with two collaborative pieces with Iranian ambient storyteller Siavash Amini. Though contrasted in their approaches, these songs raise an overpass linking two countries separated by violence, war and fear. Amani and Isarri are united by their middle-eastern heritage, yet the path between Iran and New York has become marred by horrific adversity. Their tandem effort shines a light of dismay and empathy into a wounded world — embodying the groans of the afflicted and the ache of those who would intercede.

“Karma Krama” juxtaposes angelic swells over cavernous feedback walls and abrasive static undertones, spotlighting the plight of the disenfranchised and the negligence of the privileged like a train-wreck happening in slow motion. Every layer forms a more detailed portrait of the struggle to preserve innocence, and its culmination signals the full realization of pandemic sorrow in a time where nothing is sacred and life is cheap.

Massive upsurges acquire a softer touch during the final and longest track. A fragile melody ushers “The Faithless” in, and out of its 13 minutes, offers the most vulnerable cut on the record. Distant noise-scapes and eerie bass gradually give this moving line buoyancy within its subterranean atmosphere. The song surfaces from the depths with deliberate grace via inconspicuously added drones, suspending itself over a foundation of shimmering arpeggiations and murmuring sound collages. After the final percussive clicks echo out, listeners are left to ponder their sonic journey.

The Shameless Years feels endless until it’s over, mirroring the harrowing dichotomy between alarming rapidity and agonizing sluggishness that defines the human experience. Glorious arrival points last forever until they fade in the same way the slowburn of reticent ruminations seems indefinite until unforeseen escalation whisks it away… and it all ends before one has time to truly comprehend what they just experienced.

Multiple listens and a continuous internal dialogue about the subject matter are required to fully appreciate the calamitous odyssey this album harbors within its sprawling sound collages. Its exploration of mankind’s frailty and failures compasses astride a conciliate raft of abstract sublimity. The Shameless Years is not only a bulwark of post-minimalist music, but a stunning account of the deepest insecurities of Rafael Anton Irisarri and his most lofty appraisals of stricken generations.

Written by: Maxwell Heilman

Druhá Smrt – ‘Contemplate Darkness’ Music Video

Druhá Smrt have released a number of albums through the Sombre Soniks label. Their variety of ritual dark ambient has a distinctive sound that often makes them immediately recognizable. Tim Van der Schraelen has created this video for their track “Contemplate Darkness” which is exclusive to the first compilation from our zine, This Is Darkness Presents Vol.1 Dark Ambient.
Stay tuned for more upcoming videos featuring tracks from this album!

The full compilation can be found here: https://thisisdarkness.bandcamp.com
Druhá Smrt’s latest album can be found here: https://sombresoniks.bandcamp.com/alb…
Tim Van der Schraelen’s videos can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfzk…
Rights to music retained by Druhá Smrt
Rights to video retained by Tim Van der Schraelen

This Is Darkness Presents Vol.1 Dark Ambient Compilation

This Is Darkness is very proud to present to you the first of our compilations. This one has been in the works for about 8 months and has been a lengthy but exciting process. We are presenting you with 66 exclusive tracks, coming in at 7+ hours of music. This is a combination of some well known artists and some that are up & coming. The release is going up today as a pre-order for $5, 10 tracks available immediately. After release on 18 September, it will be changed to “name your price”. This way, if anyone wants the 8 preview tracks now, or just wants to go ahead and show some support, they can do so within the pre-order period. After that, you can decide how much, if anything, you want to pay for the release. Please enjoy, share the news with your friends and let us know what you think of the compilation! Pre-order available here.

Dark Priest – Dark Ambient Mix

Dark Priest – Dark Ambient Mix

Earth has been witness to many religions, new and old. The world is an old place, and daemoniacal powers run back to her very birth. Follow This Is Darkness on a trip into the most corrupted of churches, monasteries and hermitages. The corruption of the religious order seeps from this mix. Strictly dark ambient, so this will remain reasonably subtle throughout the mix. Perfect for a night of reading some horrific dark fiction, playing irreligious video games, or meditation to invoke the darkest of powers. See the full set-list and links to each artist at the bottom of the page (scroll waaaaaay down…)
Note: Sacrificial offerings are not necessary, but will likely increase the effects of this mix.

Patreon

Set-list:
01. 0:00:00 Veiled Monk – Opening the Night Gate
02. 0:04:50 Asmorod – Abode of the Dead
03. 0:11:05 Enmarta – March of the Priests
04. 0:20:15 Enearth – Whisper of the Crying Angels
05. 0:24:50 Trepaneringsritualen – Elivágar
06. 0:30:40 Sephiroth – Dark Father
07. 0:38:25 Comadescent – Cathedral
08. 0:41:35 Urs Wild – Ritualized
09. 0:46:20 Hymnambulae – Bära Fram Solen
10. 0:52:10 Ruairi O’Baoighill – Ritual
11. 0:57:45 Lamia Vox – Liberation
12. 1:02:35 Jocelyn Pook – Masked Ball (Extended Mix)
13. 1:08:40 Atrium Carceri – Worship
14. 1:15:45 Alone in the Hollow Garden & Nam-Khar – Sutra
15. 1:21:10 A Most Accursed – Ta’wil
16. 1:31:25 Worms of the Earth & Subverge – Within Desolate Tunnels
17. 1:36:10 raison d’être – In Loneliness
18. 1:38:05 Metatron Omega – Eye of Providence
19. 1:47:10 Skadi – Winter Soltice
20. 1:54:00 Treha Sektori – Decerh Ah Enteh
21. 1:59:15 Tribes of Medusa – Black Meditation
22. 2:02:25 Vestigial – Red Sky Nigredo
23. 2:08:35 Werwolfsblut – Blood Incantations
24. 2:19:25 Shibalba – Hymn to the Climbing Scarab
25. 2:25:20 Asath Reon – Lone Weaver
26. 2:29:45 Sadistic Cult – The Cult
27. 2:30:55 Corona Barathri & Melek-Tha – Mystical Doctrine

Painting: William Hogarth – Satan, Sin and Death – 1735

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