Just as I breathed a sigh of relief upon completion of the Cervix review, I looked at the Achenar album with some trepidation. Upon playing my fears were intensified as it begins with some interesting sample that are quickly overtaken by noise. As I was cursing and thinking that this was punishment from the boss (Chrystof) for something, it turned into some of the darkest arpeggios I have heard in while. I sat entranced as the sheer weighty atmosphere overtook me, complimented by suitably moody and strange synths. The vocals are somewhere between chanting and choir work but suitably infused with a gothic sensibility. The textures are layered to a climax and a sudden stop, making “Survive Yourself” a very memorable first song (following the earlier intro mentioned “Origin”). The second track is much more insane, taking cues from Skinny Puppy and Merzbow. Yes it has some harsh frequencies and a ton of noise, but it also has a rather alien sense of songwriting, and at least a small family of crystal meth fed monkeys jumping all over the keys and buttons of a sampler. More bizarre and rather scary soundscapes lead to “Verify Me”. In terms of atmosphere and sheer weight this smokes most of the dark stuff I have heard this year. The rhythms created out all over the record are pure genius, utilizing electro-industrial drumkits as well as all kinds of found sounds to mesmerizing effect. The lyrics are also sufficiently ambiguous yet threatening enough to mantain a near-constant mood of unknown fear. Songs like “Re-Everate” take the rougher sounds of bands like In Strict Confidence, and then rape them to produce alien-hybrid offspring.
Project mastermind, Scotsman Duncan Hemingway, proves to be a true expressionist of post-modern avant garde composition on tracks like the enthralling “Sojourn”. It came to the point where I was actually looking forward to what madness each track would bring, and to say the least, it does not disapoint a fan of avant garde music. Honestly, even as a musician it scares me as to how a piece like “Let Us Help You” is composed, much less created. What sort of mental dichotomy leads one to be equally enthusiastic in making rhythmic barrage of noise and samples on one end, and the neo-goth brilliance of a song like “With Conviction” (infact a few places reflect the experimentation of euro-BM bands as they expanded their wings). It all ends with the alternately haunting and bitter sweet strain of “1+0=10”. Highly recommended for anyone claiming to be into avant garde music.
01 – Origin