Ugasanie & Dronny Darko – Arctic Gates

Arctic Gates is a collaboration of two prolific artists from the Cryo Chamber label: fellow Ukrainians Ugasanie (Pavel Malyshkin, aka Polterngeist) and Dronny Darko (Oleg Puzan). Its overall feel is oddly subdued, in a manner indicative of Puzan’s idiosyncratic ‘lowercase dark ambient’ that emphasises its intimate relationship with the subject matter through subtle sound-collages and a heavy use of field music. What is perhaps most striking about its use in Arctic Gates, though, is the extent to which the distinction of synthesised sound and field recording is blurred. Continue reading

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Ugasanie – Ice Breath of Antarctica

I’ve never really gone in for the whole Weather Dependant Music thing. You know, listening to Pop Punk in Summer, Immortal in Winter, Megadeth when the clouds spell out the word “dickhead” in the sky? It always felt a little superficial to me, turning music into a glorified decoration, when REAL music fans listen to whatever they want whenever they want it. Continue reading

ProtoU – The Edge Of Architecture

How important is the theme of a piece of music? To what extent do aesthetic choices (artwork, lyrics, stated concepts) colour the audience’s perception of the sounds? It’s a question that doesn’t frequently get asked in Metal, where the same basic themes are repeated by the majority of bands until they become taken for granted, but Metal-adjacent genres like Dark Ambient can make it seem much more significant. Continue reading

Cryo Chamber: Miles To Midnight & Ur Djupan Da

It’s starting to feel like I’m repeating myself here, but “Cinematic Dark Ambient” specialists Cryo Chamber remain one of the most consistently engaging and accomplished in any genre, and one of their more interesting qualities is their themed collaborations between artists. For a Metal label these would likely be little more than indulgent acts of vanity, but Cryo Chamber’s collaborations are always among the most distinctive and evocative of their releases, the artists combining their disparate approaches to create a shared atmosphere, often based around a narrative or themed. Continue reading

Cognitive Dissonance V

Authentic static television on a television screen.

In which Richie HR dives into the maelstrom of abstract Metal, Noise and Ambient, and comes back up with something awful… Continue reading

Cognitive Dissonance IV

 

Cryo Chamber Collaborations Round Up (Late Summer 2017)

One of the interesting things about getting into different styles of music than what you’re normally used to is adjusting to the different opportunities afforded by them. Collaborative albums exist in Rock and Metal, but by the very nature of those styles tend to fall into the “Dave Necrobastard singing with Cryptic Gardener” format. Electronic music, by contrast, lends itself more readily to genuine collaboration, with one or more artists able to lend their own sounds and production to a track, creating something both new and familiar. Cryo Chamber Records, leaders in the Dark Ambient field, have been experimenting with themed collaborations for several years now, and in the Summer of 2017 have brought three such albums of a particularly high quality. Continue reading

Randall Collier-Ford – Promethean

Despite the essential differences of the music, Dark Ambient does share a number of things in common with Extreme Metal – one of the most obvious is that, from the outside, it is often perceived as all sounding the same. Without understanding the particularities of the genre, it can all sound like pigs grunting over feedback/hoovers exploding in a wind tunnel (delete as appropriate), but to the trained ear the skill of individual bands and artists makes all the difference. In Dark Ambient, which mostly lacks the obvious paths to individuality offered by guitar sound or vocal style, the key is in the skilful and effective placement of sounds and tones – in this field, Randall Collier-Ford is nothing less than a master. Continue reading