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|10 April 2018||
Halv Drøm - Young Gods
After making numerous poignant appearances on VA releases published via Total Black, Instruments Of Discipline, Fleisch et al. throughout 2016 and 2017, the timing couldn't be better for Berlin-based Saxon Jörgensen a.k.a. Halv Drøm to reveal his first solo release. Titled Young Gods, Jörgensen's first EP comprises six unapologetically bleak, lo-fi-leaning works that merry EBM and Techno in a manner which would be best and most aptly described as being Total(ly) Black.
Opening slowly—as if to lure in a long hall illuminated dimly by the moon's reluctant shining coming through the dusty windowpanes, Vernichte Die Wände is quite quick to establish the gloomy mood through incorporation of faintly exploding kicks with exponentially increasing time signatures, non-generically sounding claps, dejected wailings of a clearly disrepaired guitar, and chaotically skipping loops locked from the vocals courteously provided by Rosa Anschütz.
A wintry low-range humming keeps the palpable tension active throughout virtually all of the follower's length while its sweeping hats effectively add to the unease by leaning to right channel just enough to break the stereo symmetry without having an unprepared listener register it and realize precisely what it is that makes Hope Drone sound so oddly unsettling; as if that wasn't enough, the intangible vocal bits keep declaring of their ghostly presence some place between the occasional blasts of acid and muffled-out clanking of metal bars up until a composition reaches its climactic peak and the destabilizing blowing of synthesized horns crosses over to the final minute of cacophonous, Esplendor Geométrico-inspired bliss.
Through arrays of ruthlessly whiplashing hats, sharply abrasive kicks, multiplying surges of acidic chords and oscillations that at first bear semblance to languorous record scratching and whines of a firetruck siren soon afterwards, Daimon creates an sonic environment highly suitable for shamanic sessions spent somewhere in deep woods, inexplicably possessing an illusory quality of perpetuating the night indefinitely on top of that; if Romero's zombies had outspoken musical preferences, this would've probably been their Thriller.
Disbalanced rhythms of concentrated and dichotomizing rattling, low-seated and repositioning toms, soft claps, reverberated clicking and moderately screeching pads of Artificial Qualities band together to concoct a tribalistic tone for the better part of the piece, up to the point when an army of kicks invades the scene—much in the fashion of British colonists, coming across a settlement of aboriginals in the middle of ritual festivities, bringing a starkly different, severely more combustive sort of music with them.
Penultimate number Analgesia comes off as the most subversive one of all, at first introducing subtle kicks, swooshing stabs and a faintly running loop that together effectively serve as a suspenseful intro, then jumping to a short-lived, full-out drum attack enhanced by the rapid hats—only to unexpectedly cease it several moments later and return to a calmer tone, carrying the energy over to the next part with continuing revolution of a rustling percussive arrangement that submits to vague, tonal clattering in mid-range, mildly resonating pads and once again subdued kicks, before returning to a more energetic section with oppressive beats, sinister drones and a repeatedly summoned sample evocative of an exclamation vocalized by a Quake protagonist sustaining an injury.
Growling in serrated discontent as a carnivorous critter endemic to distant ends of unplumbed caverns that has been starving for a dangerously prolonged period of time and is now ready to sink its oversized fangs into anything that takes a breath, Aquarius Monster ominously rounds off the EP with a descend down the I-am-not-sure-I-want-to-be-here tour, where the only inhabitants more dreadful than those who amuse themselves by rhythmically smashing rocks against one another are the ones that appropriated freshly gnawed skulls and bones as musical instruments, enthusiastically bashing them in accord with returning feedbacks sent all the way around the rocky formations by the vastly reverberating echos.
As far as music-related onsets go, it's nothing short of a fair statement that Halv Drøm presents a solid and coherent collection of tracks, neither of which feels out of place nor out of purpose. In the end, there's really not much else to say except well done.
Words by rhetor.
Release Type: EP
Release Date: 10 April 2018
Release Format: Digital • Cassette
Record Label • Catalog: Total Black • 103