Sunday, April 17, 2011

Syrinx - Hunted: Without Tears in Their Eyes, Drone

Review by Batcheeba

Syrinx apparently has a crew in constant flux. For this spesific release crew members are Glowingpixie, Ghoul Detail and Pink Venom.
Syrinx, from greek mytology, is the tale of a nymph who in her desperate attempt to avoid Pan's constant wooing, got transformed into hollow water reeds by the water nymphs. Pan cut these reeds down and made his famous pan flute. What a fate. A rather tragic tale of  love lost and brutal last solutions to captivate your loved one. My thoughts wander off to Dennis Nielsen and his attempts to stop his lovers from leaving him. We all try our hardest to keep what we love, sometimes in a fashion that can be rather inhumane. The syringe gets it's name from this myth, and we all know that some syringes are used to kill the killer...

Syrinx's release is titled Without Tears In Their Eyes, and consists of two long tracks clocking in on 26:30 and 40:54. I don't mind long trakcs at all as long as the tracks either keep feeding me interesting breaks, or manage to create a meditative trancelike state in me. I'm hard to please that way. Syrinx somehow manages to do both.

Usually when I read up on a release and the first thing i see is "drone", I will feel a slight twitch in my right eyebrow. I am so sick of the whole drone genre by now. It takes a shitload to impress me. Bands are spewing out completely uninteresting material by the bagfull. I'm sick of it. But Syrinx actually impresses me with their distorted bass and guitars, noise elements and dirty scattered beats.
All this is wrapped up in what I would describe as sounding like a dirty, ambient Sun 0))). Syrinx certainly know how to keep things interesting. This is ultra organic soundscape, complimented with various stunning melodic patterns wrapped all around it. The tracks come across as very mature and intelligent. The mastering sounds a bit rough, but I like it rough. The only downside with the production is that alot of the more interesting elements drown out. Maybe that's the intention? I don't really mind, but maybe you will.

Out of the two tracks the first one, Corridor to Islandisation, is by far the most interesting listen. Maybe the second track, We Have no future,  fails to impress me equally due to it's somewhat repetetive nature. Not a good thing when the last track is 40 minutes long. This is where Syrinx fails. They proved to me in the first track that they are more than able to take their music into unexpected territory. More of that, please. I have to wait until app 30 minutes into the second track to find an interesting break and those creative melodic elements. From here on out this track is very good, but that does not forgive the initial 20 some minutes that got me rather pissed off.

The cover is a card board slip, with a rather trippy, psychedelic design on the front consisting of what seems to be a multitude of deers, rabbits, rats and bears in 3 circles. The cover is grand. Even though it gives the impression of a prog band rather than a drone band (despite the two genres being cousins and all). We like surprises.

All in all a very interesting release, but I would ask the Syrinx crew to think long and hard before venturing back into the studio. There is nothing wrong with drone, but you have to stand out and be unique, and Syrinx certainly has the musical talents to stand out. Work harder at what makes your sound unique. Those parts really impressed me.

Lable: Dark Medow Recordings
Band site:
Released 2010


Track one: Corridor to Islandisation
Track two: We Have No Future

Subterrestrial – Conspiracy Music : Dark Ambient / experimental

Reviewed by Gird_09

We have reviewed these guys before and convincing us to do it again isn't hard. Subterrestrial has to be one of the more fitting band names out there. Their music does not belong under the bright light of the sun. It's fragile, obscure and nocturnal – and at times it feels like one is somewhere down in a cavernous space surrounded by the chirps of unseen, gigantic, blind, albino insects and rodents. It's not pleasent, despite being ambient. Unsettling is the word on my lips. Conspiracy Music is another venture into this underground labyrinthine landscape. Travelling down Acheron with a single torch to light the walls and ceiling above us, while the black water hides a world better left undiscovered.

The music is detailed, yet also very minimalistic and mostly made up of treated sounds, echoes and soft strings with squelching synthesizers providing a sort of shadow puppet theatre against the granite walls. In one way it's like a soviet sci fi film from an abandoned Mars colony, while at other times it's like standing in a lost temple complex in Peru. The music is cinematic and evocative, but also very contamplative.

As downloads go, this is one of the best I've heard. The power of the track the Bohemian Grove is something I rarely come across, and the contrast between the melodies and the minute soundscaping is effective as well as admirable. It takes me back to when I first discovered ambient music, despite being miles away from the likes of the Orb and KLF. Still in a track like Black Helicopters I hear touches of both Orbital and Future Sound of London. The tracks stand out against each other in a good way, and they are allowed their own personality. While the album concept is cohesive as few each track is still an individual track. I'd be hard pressed to find the fillers on this one.

I also feel an urgent need to address the "weight" of the instruments. The music never sounds computer generated or like its been composed on software synths. While there is no doubt that the music is electronic (and atleast mostly digital) it sounds and feels real and organic. The reverb and textures feels entirely natural.

I do have trouble relating the titles to the mood of the music though. There's very little that feels like black helicopters and Illuminati, or the cross and bones society in this music. Still, I'm not going to let that stand in the way of my enjoyment. I can literally feel my heartbeat and breathing slow down as the album progresses. And that is despite having to pay extra attention to write a review. That's a rare quality.

Subterrestrial has done it again, and they are rapidly becoming one of our favorite bands of the genre here at Kaliglimmer HQ!

2010, Free Download, Self Released

1 Bovine Mutilator [07:50]
2 The Bohemian Grove [8:00]
3 322 [8:08]
4 October 13 1307 [8:04]
5 Black Helicopters [808]
6 Illuminati [15:34]
7 Things Seen in the Sky [8:18]

Black Velvet Stereo – Iron Trees EP : Dark Ambient / Drone

Reviewed by Gird_09

This four track EP comes with an anaglyph "cover", depicting a riverbed in a forest. While the sounds might not immediatly conjure forth arboreal images its not entirely unfitting. There is something entirely artificial about anaglyph images, while the image itself is of nature in motion. The music is organic, while certainly artificial in every aspect. The music is not about being "real", it's closer "metareal".

The music is distorted and many of the audio fragments are dislocated, battered and broken, but the result is oddly soothing. Like it says on the download page: "Played & recorded at home by Black velvet stereo
Use on this record : Old Synths / Bad Samplers / Piano Toy / Reversed Guitars / Tape Echoes / Broken Drums / ... " As much as the aesthetic is one of low tech, distorted and improvised it sounds incredibly clean and precise. Low tech certainly doesn't translate to muddled, in this case.

The only drawback on this release is its length. It could be twice as long. Each track could easily be stretched for a few minutes more without losing any potency or mood. Not often I would say that.

So, break out your mp3 player and your anaglyph glasses.

Epileptic Dog Productions, Free download, 2010

1 Small Leaf [05:30]
2 The Space Below [04:09]
3 Let the Sun Burn Your Eyes [04:08]
4 Flowers [05:16]