Sunday, November 9, 2008

b°tong - “Structures” CD

Summed up well by the quote inside: "...This is an invocation, a journey into the void...", this collection of effected and processed field recordings by Swiss electronic artist Chris Sigdell was inspired by a visit to Sweden's Jukkasjarvi ice palace, and the cold and unforgiving atmospheres set forth here are really pretty malevolent and ominous. The journey begins with the deep reverberations of 'Hands Up: Who Wants To Die', which brings to mind an abandoned (and possibly haunted) seaport - complete with creepy, jarring, disembodied voices and sinister whispers. Chilling and effective. 'Motherlode' begins a bit like some of Chris Watson's amazing recordings of the Vatnajokull glacier in Iceland (contained on his 'Weather Report' CD), or maybe some of Thomas Koner's glacial ambience. That is, until the ice falls away violently with massive, crushing sheets of ice and torrential waters falling deeply into an endless abyss - an incredible recording and ragingly powerful, like nature herself. The track later crawls back into the shadows, with what sounds like more water echoing along deep underground caverns. Absolutely enveloping and breathtaking. The disc is worth it for this track alone. Later tracks also utilize cavernesque sounds and snippets of muted voices - creepily atmospheric and unmistakably cold. A superlative release of darkened environments and harrowing moods. (Noecho Records)

Sigdell's site with sound samples

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