RIYL: dark ambient

Label: Forwind

The first week of the last month of the most perilous year in recent memory has come to pass. Anger, confusion and sadness have been aroused plenty more times than happiness, and you’re able to hear it in the music that’s been coming out as of late. To touch on the first feeling, anger, like every feeling, manifests itself in multiple ways. Anger observed in silence can be the most frightening though. You ever get somebody angry, just out of sheer bad luck or a misunderstanding, and they treat you like everything’s hunky dory? They just blaze onward as if nothing’s amiss – as if there’s no pink elephant in the room obstructing their path. You can’t help but feel like the moment you turn your back on them, they’ll strike. These moments of tension just get the adrenaline pumping and it gets to a point where you just want them to exact their payback already. Angry Ambient Artists Vol. 2 has plenty of “oomph,” but its violent fuzz is able to masquerade as soothing drone. This is a lullaby of the worst kind. Listen to Angry Ambient Artists Vol. 2 below via the Bandcamp player and see what you think of it. Cheers!

The Details

After kicking off the Angry Ambient Artists series with two of the most established and respected names in contemporary composition; Machinefabriek and Philippe Petit, Volume 2 sees the series look to two new talents - Svetlana Maraš and Bodies Under The Waterfall in their efforts to make some creative sense of these dark times. AAA Vol.2 sees both artists making their solo release debuts in an exacting and intense fashion.

Svetlana Maraš is a composer and sound artist from Serbia. With a long CV covering everything from writing for ensembles through to installations and radio works, here Svetlana focuses her skills on two precision produced pieces; ‘Habitat’ and ‘Aftermath’. The first piece serves as a somewhat restrained opener. Dense layers of atmospheric hiss are interspersed with an array of sounds that convey something akin to a primal digital swamp where the emerging life is finding its feet. It closes out on a harsher noise signal which foreshadows the increased intensity and dissonance in the second piece.

‘Aftermath is in a way very political. When I started working on it I was approaching it as a subtle, almost ambient track, improvisatory...then came the rhythm, then came the noise and I realised that the need to articulate these musical events was a way to articulate my feelings and thoughts on the endless stream of bad news on a daily basis....violence, injustice, wars, corruption....’.

Bodies Under The Waterfall is George Royle. The UK based producer works with obscure samples mined from ‘the depths of the internet’ as well as field recordings chopped and stretched and reshaped into ‘something unrecognisable but with traces of their past shining through’. The subject matter is dark as the titles convey (“Apathetic Pathetic, Drinking Problem, Drowns”) but there is solace in the expression and exploration of these themes and feelings that manifests itself in the warm fuzzy wash of the three powerful pieces.

There’s an anger and a yearning as emotive tones and frequencies battle to break through the wall of sound. The submerged vocals add to the sense of the hazy and the hidden as human thought and speech are left to fend for themselves in the drama and distortion.
released November 28, 2016

Habitat and Aftermath written and produced by Svetlana Maraš

Apathetic Pathetic, Drinking Problem and Drowns written and produced by George Royle.

All tracks mastered by Conor Curran

Design by Hannes Jentsch

Cover illustration from the archive of National Maritime Museum, London

Price $8.91

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