CUT WORMS – BREATH MULE
Richard van Kruysdijk took some four years to come up with his third solo-album under the Cut Worms alias, following 2016’s Lumbar Fist and 2017’s Cable Mounds. Breath Mule is said to complete the trilogy and will be the last album he releases as Cut Worms. Perhaps so to avoid further confusion with singer-songwriter Max Clarke who also operates as Cut Worms but in a very different genre.
The sound creation process is the same as in the two previous albums: creating sounds from scratch, “without any prefab sounds, beats or loops, using an array of ingeniously cross-connected effects to manipulate simple electronic sources, mainly generated by a monophonic synth (Moog Werkstatt) and a circuit-bent autoharp (Suzuki Omnichord)”.
The sources may be ‘simple’, but the creation process and the resulting sounds aren’t. This is clear from the first opening track Slug Sirup (Kruysdijk definitely has his way with titles), which is built upon a thundering sub-low fundament. The lower part of the audio spectrum is obviously favourite, and on it the tracks are built and can get quite inescapable. And dark. intimidating perhaps even, but without taking the easy route of ‘power ambient’.
” Concrete walls of sound that are as majestic as they are elementary, yet intrinsically detailed when examined with a magnifying glass.”
Breath Mule concludes with an ominous 12-minute drone piece Slashed Hostage presenting a poem by Giacinto Scelsi warning us that if we demand too much from every aspect of life, we ultimately risk to “be among the shadows, hallucinating the shadow of a headless ghost.”
Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes.
LAB’S CLOUD – THE STRUCTURE OF EMOTIONS
With its warm, light-hearted, and ethereal introspective tracks, The Structure Of Emotions is almost the opposite of the darker atmospheres of Breath Mule. Still, in a strange way, I feel the albums somehow fitted together – balance each other like Yin balances Yang, so to speak. (Both artists might not agree with this, of course).
Lab’s Cloud is Raúl Jordán from Spain. Originally producing psychedelic trance music (as Psycho Abstract) but later following the ‘chillout’ route into ambient and down-tempo music. The Structure Of Emotions is essentially beatless but has that distinctive chillout vibe.
Raúl Jordán calls it ’emotional ambient’ himself. And perhaps that explains the connection I feel between the two albums: emotions are never simply ‘light’ or ‘dark’. It’s the balance that’s important.