Artist Euhedral/Timothy C Holehouse
Label Self Released
Genre(s) Drone, Dark Ambient
Yet another split tape featuring the ever wonderful Mr. Holehouse and this time he has teamed up with Oxford based drone and dark ambient project Euhedral. Euhedral offers up one track split into two parts of creepy drone/dark ambient soundscapes, whilst Timothy C. Holehouse presents three tracks of dark improv. and shuddering melody. The information with the insert is somewhat sparse, offering artist and track names (and e-mails etc). The only other bit of info to be found is that the tape (I'm assuming both sides?) was recorded in Peckham on a bleak Sunday. I can't say for certain that this had any effect on the outcome but this split is definitely dark and brooding.
The Euhedral side side starts off with a drifting sound, echoes and slow methodical drum beats filling the plain. Self described by the artist as dark (which is an understatement) Mantis Song Parts 1 & 2 offer dense yet spacious atmospheres, drums bouncing off slick cave walls and dread filled drones rising from blackness. Damaged and shuddering walls of noise closing in from every side. The production and the drum sound almost lend a dub sound to the proceedings. As Part 1 fades into oblivion the dense silence is punctured by screams, at which I'm getting a similair vibe to In Umbra Malitiae Ambulabo, In Aeternum In Triumpho Tenebrarum by Abruptum (Except executed in a much more competent fashion). A metallic nightmare begins to stalk closer and closer to the forefront, like a mechanical beast rising from a misty chamber. Female vocals dance in the ether fitting the mood perfectly. All the components of the release joining into a sonic miasma. It's here however that I have a slight problem with the work, I was taken out of the experience somewhat by what sounds to be the use of a wah effect on the track, I was very aware of the nature of the track and it dulled the atmosphere that (until this point) had been created perfectly. Gone was the creeping sense of dread. There is a quick stop/start used to great effect, just as I was getting up to change sides the assault returned and resulted in me cowering like a little girl. I'll happily throw some Euhedral tracks on in future, however it's not exactly comfortable listening in a dark room en yet at the same time I would advise it to get the most of the experience.
Timothy C. Holehouse starts off with a calm piece of guitar, slowly repeating and dying away. Electronic flourishes ebb alongside the guitar. As the volume and intensity increases an air of menace becomes apparent. What sound like whispered vocals lurk just behind the instrumentation, haunting the listener. Soon the guitar is overpowered by a thudding pulse of a beat, steady and omnipresent. A swirl of electronics offering only slight suggestions that the guitar still exists as part of the composition. More urgent and pressing, there is a slight drop out on the tape at one point which I'm not entirely sure is intentional. Just as soon as the hazy electronics began they start to fade away, leaving the pulsating beat and gentle guitar, sounding ever more alone. The beat eventually vanishes until the guitar is all that's left, sounding sorrowful and alone due to the juxtaposition with the harsher point of the track. Track two carries with it an almost Moevot vibe, carrying the sound as if it were recorded in a cathedral, there are also flourishes of almost Kluster-esq electronics, psychedelic en yet melding perfectly with the composition. The Moevot vibe only increase as the side rumbles on, especially when the sinister, whispered vocals return.
There's much been said about the genre of Black Noise, despite being a loose term which covers the more bombastic (Emit) to the slightly calmer and more ambient (Dapnom/Black Seas of Infinity) there seems to be a lash back from the noise community at large. It's releases like this that might be able to turn the tide and show there can be a good mix of Dark/Black Ambient and Noise/Drone elements to create something greater than the sum of it's parts.