DRONNY DARKO – ORIGIN
“Recommended for fans of lowercase ambient, alien abductees and void travelers.”
I’m not sure about the ‘and’ here, guess it should have been ‘or’: any of these three will do.
In case you’re not familiar with the weird genre description: lowercase ambient refers to “a form of ambient minimalism where very quiet, usually unheard sounds are amplified to extreme levels”.
‘Extreme’ should not be taken too literally here, because the overall sound production of this album is perfectly controlled and not simply ‘push all levels into the red’. But it’s a fact that Dronny Darko (Oleg Puzan, from Kiev, Ukraine) creates his otherworldly soundscapes with building blocks of sounds that seem to come from another world.
According to the info that comes with the album, Origin is “the third album in Darko’s sound design heavy trilogy” – but I am not sure which of his releases were the first two parts of this trilogy: Dronny Darko is a rather productive artist often collaborating with other artists.
Maybe this doesn’t really matter: the four long tracks on Origin can be enjoyed by itself for its adventurous, deep and enigmatic soundscapes. But they are not recommended for those that are afraid of the dark.
APOCRYPHOS – AGAINST CIVILIZATION
… Which can also be said about the Apocryphos album Against Civilization. Not too remarkable perhaps since this is another release on the Cryo Chamber label, a label that specializes in the darkest of dark ambient.
Apocryphos is the alias of Robert C. Kosletsky, an artist from Indiana, Pennsylvania. He is also a member of Kerrstillingskozletskynyströmpetrus (of whom I never heard before .. no idea what that may sound like but I think the name is too fascinating not to mention).
The guitar sounds on Against Civilization may suggest a more accessible sound compared to that of Dronny Darko, but make no mistake – this is as dark and brooding as its cover image.
“Civilization is a curse. […] It soon collapses and nature turns feral.”
Predictive words when realising this album was released early February 2020, shortly before nature turned feral indeed.
DEAD MELODIES & ZENJUNGLE – ANTHROPOCENE
The journey into the abyss of civilization continues, but the sound on Anthropocene takes us to a different context.
The sax and clarinet of Zenjungle (Phil Gardelis, who also contributes guitar, synth, noises and field recording), paired with the sounds of Tom Moore (Dead Melodies, guitar, bass, ebow, synth, keys and field recordings) is less extraterrestrial and otherworldly.
With its fascinating Blade Runner-like atmosphere, it takes you into dark film noir territory – into the depths of society that you may not want to visit in real life but which are extremely fascinating to experience from the safety of your own comfortable listening chair.
The dystopian dark jazz takes you “far beneath the lofty empire of steel and brick […] into the haze of the low lying smog”.
Like both releases above and most on Cryo Chamber: recommended listening, but not for the faint of heart.