The fourth instalment of Angry Ambient Artists sees the series widen its scope with some raw rhythmic jams and horror score worthy instrumentals.
Conflux Coldwell and Tomonari Nozaki step up to cast the series wide net into a pool of tense ambience, dark drones and belting percussive numbers.Conflux Coldwell was responsible for one of our favourite releases from the last few years, the exceptional hauntology register ‘AM’. While some of the methods and approaches that garnered ‘AM’ so much praise (see bio) are evident here, the two new pieces see Michael draw from other wells as he not only ups the track durations but also the intensity of his productions.
‘Backwater’ opens things up with an industrial droner that spins around its own axis with warring percussive elements, some steady others flittering, all underpinned with what could be read as a mantra like call to focus in the midst of the commotion. It weaves its raspy ingredients together and then let’s them morph as it moves between the more sedate and energetic passages. We would have used the word intense but that is best left for CC’s second piece…
‘Acathexis’ is exactly the sort of adventurous epic we were hoping to see line up in the AAA series. There are a whole host of moods and stages to the piece as it effortlessly moves from icy atmospherics to shredding rhythmic sections, steadier but heavy industrial movements and back out again to let the radio ghosts and dismembered voices have the final say as they mix it up with less of a percussive barrage trying to muscle its way onto their airwaves. There is a lot to unpack in this track and its wide ranging terrain means it could end up anywhere from edgier ambient and drone sets through to more unhinged dance floors. The fun will be in each listener digesting it themselves and we’re not going to ruin that by straying too far into review territory...
Tomonari Nozaki has produced and indeed made his name with some sublime pieces of tape hiss drenched ambience. While he is no stranger to dissonance and the warmer end of the noise spectrum these are probably his darkest pieces so far. It’s always interesting to see an artist change gears and offer up something different to what their audience has come to expect. Tomonari does this across three tracks that in suitably inverse fashion to CC, see him cut down his usual track durations to a much leaner length.
‘Blackout’ opens up the AA side with a booming drone that initially blankets the sharper frequencies before they are allowed to emerge along with the whirring tape rattles. It’s hard to get away from that word atmospheric as he conjures a dark landscape that could be applied to many scenes and situations in both the physical and digital realms.
Our first thought after learning the title ‘Deception Repeater’ was that it could be a Napalm Death track title! And while it doesn’t enter the same sonic terrain as the grindcore legends it’s scabrous in its own way as it fires its way through a convulsive three and a half minutes. It hits a peak with a barrage of punches composed of raw audio detritus before making a hasty exit off the back of some comparatively melodic drone.
‘Sound Locator’ completes Tomonari’s latest three panel offering on Forwind with a more subtle offering. While it still wades in darker waters, it’s a more restrained piece that brings to mind the type of portent and foreboding notes we all love in a good horror flick. While Tomonari has assuredly gone to the dark side on this release he still retains that level of melody and accessibility that has seen him reach ears beyond the outsider, avant and experimental worlds.
Angry Ambient Artists Vol.4 will be available on limited edition cassette and whatever digital format rocks your boat.