Heathen Harvest Review
Artist: Concrete Cookie & The Maggot Farmer
Label: Force Of Nature [US]
Featuring members of the Mashup Soundsystem collective, this is a fine piece of droning, flowing audio alchemy. Bubbling organics merge with cold, isolationist subsonic layers to produce a cinematic rainy day soundtrack.
The first three pieces on this release flow into one another like wisps of toxic smoke twisting into the atmosphere. Second track Tropic of Cancer is introduced with a piercing reverberating tone, which gradually trails off into the distance, as the steady heartbeat rhythm of Rats & Ravens climbs upon its spine. Grainy, twisting echoes pounce and play with predatory delicacy until silence finally closes the album’s first movement.
Book of Margins is simply gorgeous, rising from the silence with a calm refrain, lulling the listener into a false sense of security before shadowed bass distortions rise from the depths, flanked by curiously ominous percussive clangs and blips.
This cacophony melds into Painlevé, which opens with a blackened ambient drone that ebbs and flows like consciousness dawning upon slowly fluttering eyes. This piece gradually builds into a grating, metallic symphony of machine ambience and frenetic rhythms, before exploding into a clamourous, deconstructive crescendo, at last retreating back into the winding dark. August I shimmers and shifts like reflections on black glass, escalating from its abyss before giving way to the plaintive, tortured screams of the toiling miners wailing through the profundity of Polonium Symphony. Biological sounds loop and whine, like a quarrelsome sonic examination of intestinal processes. Beats like bones against plate steel and gutteral, thumping resonances hack and slash their way throughout the more than 15 minute-long piece, before the screams abate and those chirping night sounds of The Reckless Sleeper overtake us. The interplay of silence and sound is skillfully executed on this release, it is a massive achievement of aural sculpture, where space is created and manipulated to excellent effect.
Vital Weekly #644
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