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30 June 2017
Zosima - Apropos Of The Wet Snow


    After early releases on Serial Number 894 and Vizion Division, Austrian artist Zosima's rise to prominence in the world of abstract techno and industrial noise has been as quick as meteoric—particularly after his excellent Tears Of Black Powder, A Lady From Siberia, and Metamorphosis EPs, all released on his impressive Noiztank label; a mini-LP The Brighter The Light, The Darker The Shadow followed next, also published on the aforementioned label. This release, Apropos Of The Wet Snow, is then his second mini-LP of 2017, and it is released on the Dutch imprint Enfant Terrible.

    The hard, flattened kick drums on Winter Nights sound much like the banging at the door as you're left out in the cold, and as the howling drone of raw biting wind begins to freeze you to the bone, fear and panic sets in. This highly experimental opener plays like a soundtrack within a soundtrack, there is a Jekyll-and-Hyde quality to it, the harsh cold outside is tempered somewhat by the noisy internal details that forge an image of steampunk activities—antiquated machinery, pistons, and gaseous expulsions all create a curious warmth, providing equilibrium. The experiments continue in Winter Notes, documenting these harsh conditions in minute detail as icy FX take the form of cracking, frozen puddles, dripping icicles, and clunking, frozen plumbing, while the lonesome kick drum gently hits the snow, leaving in its wake a delicate, crunching sound; there is a projected feeling of genuine isolation as the dubby echoes ring throughout. The Petrashevsky Circle is subtle, a minimal but intricate workout of sonic secrecy, a gathering of enlightened minds exchanging thoughts and ideas, characterized by the busy, low-fi, industrial noise, mechanical chatter, and eerie harmonics that reek of nervous tension over the fear of being discovered in this forbidden collage of sound. Summer Impressions engineers a brief end to the dark lifeless months: frozen kicks appear to smash through the frozen earth, exploding with texture on impact while the cymbals sparkle, and stressed metallic surfaces scream and crack as the deep thaw bristles with the penetrating warmth of the sun, providing some relief from the barren conditions. Slothenly, weakened, and hollowed-out kicks on Katorga convey the weary tiredness of the captive hordes of enforced labourers; no need to crack the whip here—voices appear, signaling the return of the guards, the tempo of the percussion picks up immediately, mimicking the frenetic activities, fence posts being driven in the ground, chopping firewood, and the thumping of dozens of hearts racing, as the undernourished workforce metabolise their own internal organs. The Pushkin Speech has a mesmerising, intricate beauty, its rhythmatic drums are tribal in nature, unrelenting—aside from a short break mid-track, where a harsh, groaning, industrial distortion and electrostatic noise provide an intriguing counterpoint; it's an uplifting and inspirational conclusion that rises from this.

    Apropos Of The Wet Snow probably represents Zosima's darkest and most experimental work to date, painting incredibly vivid imagery with his ever expansive and ultra sophisticated sound design principles. The result is an arresting journey through an icy cold, post-tech-noise wasteland, with an impressively thorough examination of a great many aspects of human emotion.

Words by b.yond.


Release Type: Mini-album

Release Date: 30 June 2016

Release Format: Vinyl

Record LabelCatalog: Enfant Terrible • ET049

Purchase Links: Ready MadeRush HourJuno


Category: Reviews
| Added by: rhetor
| Tags: LP, industrial, Vinyl-only, 2017, Enfant Terrible, zosima