V/A – Dreadful Passage CD

18 November 2011 xdementia No Comment

V/A – Dreadful Passage CD

Hipster Death Records

Here’s an ambient noise compilation that I believe consists of mostly Seattle-based artists. I know at least Joy Von Spain and Cathartech are from Seattle; I guess the rest of the artists are guilty by association. It’s a heavy release, clocking in at over 60 minutes with multiple tracks by some artists; this is a lot to take in.

Joy Von Spain & Patrick Urn collaborate for the first two tracks entitled Walking All Alone Pt. 1 & 2 which feature a weird combination of distorted tones – possibly voice – and what sounds like live orchestration. It’s a mix of ambient noise and free improv style wise so it makes for an odd atmosphere. The orchestration that bleeds through is really the interesting thing in these two tracks, especially the flowing horns in part 2 which play with dynamics very well. My feelings are kind of 50/50 on whether I really like this sort of thing or not, but it’s definitely something different. Following these tracks is a quicky by Black 13 entitled Wanderer of the Waste which is an awesome track. Reminds me a lot Söldnergeist with a lot of industrial sound design.

Next up are two hefty tracks by Murder which are titled Forlorn Hope Pt. 1 & 2. These are probably my least favorite tracks here because the drums are a bit overwhelming and are played in much more a free improv kind of way. They just seems to meander too much and take away from the more interesting ambient and sound design elements happening in the background. Noticeable is the great quality of these tracks though – everything is crisp and clear with sounds popping out from all angles, sometimes even tricking me into thinking they’re coming from the other room.

Cathartec is up next with a 12 minute track called Distance To Abuse which is much more what I need. Heavy ambience with drilling noise drones in the background and lots of different textures and layers of sound. Watery, bubbly and like bent metal and broken circuits the track unfolds. Numb Erone presenting Slow Burn is easily the noisiest artist here, with a blast of white-hot distortion he presents what I might think is a digital noise wall. There’s not a lot happening in the low-end but there is plenty of searing layers. Slow Burn is possibly the worst produced track here and also suffers from lack of originality but at least there are some major shifts in sound before the track comes to a close. Finally, Joy Von Spain herself closes things up with Andante a great new-school ambient track that might be the sound of Fennesz and Coil colliding. Synthesized drones focusing on moving harmonies and intense melodies while layered and shifting. Again, there is that free improv feel to it, but this time it’s done with great tact and precision as to deliver a truly unique effort.

This compilation is an odd beast but the lows aren’t too low and the highs are soaring. I would recommend this for people into contemporary music with a dark edge to it. Noise afficiandos should be looking toward Seattle because this is some interesting stuff that they have going on over there.

Composition: ★★★☆☆
Sounds: ★★★☆☆
Production Quality: ★★★★☆
Concept: ★★★☆☆
Packaging: ★★★☆☆
Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

Join the monthly mailing list

Check your email and confirm the subscription