Bardoseneticcube & Shinkiro
CD (ltd. 333)
This is already the second collaboration album of Bardoseneticcube from Russia and Shinkiro from Japan, this time under their own names. The first disc "Four Noble Truths" was released under the combined title of Bashin on the French label Athanor in 2011 and was dedicated to the basic principles of Buddhist teachings. The meditative and contemplative subject continues here as well, now being focused on the aspects of inner and outer space.
We submerge in the dark thick matter of sound, fluid, transparent and stratiform. Woven from abstract electronics, omnifarious samples and transformed voices, textures are smoothly interchanging, always showing new visions in the black mirror of our viewport. Makes you wonder - does the perceivable exist separately from the percipient? In any case this is dark, nocturnal, cosmic music, not devoid of epicism and dramatism. Worth having in your playlist for the next space travel!
The disc is packed in a matte 4-panel cardboard digisleeve with artwork made by Vitaly Stromchinsky (X3D5, Eternal Return Records).
Very beautifully this year begins, with regard to ambient and dark ambient music. And in some cases very surprisingly. I remember that “Four Noble Truths” was a decent album, I gave it a very positive review a couple of years ago, but today I’d be lying claiming that I listen to it very often. The first composition made me think that this time it will be a similar situation, that it will be well produced music that I’ll enjoy during a couple of listens, but after a while I’ll put it back on the shelf and move forward to other musical creations. Ok, I can’t say right now, I’ll need much more time to see if “Inner And Outer Space” will stand the test of time, but right now after several listens I must say that it made quite an impression on me. It’s much more sophisticated than their first work.
The tracks differ from one another. The pieces on “Four Noble Truths” were more or less similar in terms of construction, which is good for building up a monumental feeling, but after a while I realized that I had a problem focusing on the music within the space of the whole album. Maybe I’m getting old, I don’t know. Yet I’ve given about a twenty listens to “Inner And Outer Space” up to this day and so far I didn’t have such an impression after all. The whole consuming space is as overwhelming as absorbing of the listener’s attention with its diversity.
“Fluctuations” though isn’t so enthralling, it’s a cosmic dark ambient which sounds like it’s made by the book, without any creative madness. Not the best opening in the ambient world and if I weren’t be so patient I could have taken a break after the first listening and left further contact with the album for the indefinite “tomorrow”. Yet things started getting better and better later. “Evolution” sucked me in an infinite vortex with swirling cosmic winds, distant bells and low-tuned rumblings, later counterpointed by atmospheric, quasi-choir-like drones. Not very original, but somehow tantalizing with a deep cosmic secret.
With “Inflaction” you cross the last point in timespace known to man. You can’t say what’s behind it, but at the same time can’t wait for the secret to reveal itself. You need to check it for yourself. This track is less intense. Once again a wind-like background and stellar calls makes me feel like I’m surrounded by a flickering darkness with no limits.
If had to choose one track from the album that you all should listen to, it would be “Afterglow”, with a constantly growing tension, weird sounds swirling and whirling, accompanied by this ever absorbing drone and reverbed synth micromelodies. Once again, it’s a huge and powerful piece of music, but this time also sparkling with some vague sadness. A longing for home. Luckily “Dark Ages” has nothing to do with dull medieval dark wave – I feel ashamed that I even thought about that. Not at all, this one is like watching the nebulas’ beauty through a telescope. There’s something like a grotesque alien transmission once or twice during these eleven minutes, but it doesn’t disturb the somehow soothing feeling of the track.
Yes, I think I can say it. This album is far better than “Four Noble Truths”. It’s like the extension of those ideas, taking them to a slightly different direction. Sure, it’s nothing new within the genre, there’s a lot of sounds and passages that I feel are familiar from other albums. Even this “Dark Ages” in some moments reminds me of “Passing Inner Shields” by you-know-who. So it’s not visionary (then again, what is in dark ambient these days), the mystery lies not in the sound itself, but in your imagination being stimulated by the music, the music which is a perfect craftmanship of two musicians who know exactly what they want to achieve.
With the release by Russia's Bardoseneticcube and Shinkiro from Japan we land in an entirely different world. They worked before as Bashin, with a release by Athanor in 2011, and I have no idea why they this time around they don't use that name anymore. Their work is dedicated to the basic principles of Buddhist teachings. The music here spans five long pieces, with a total of fifty minutes of music. Five long, dark and highly atmospheric pieces of music. This is the musical territory that fits the word 'drone' perfectly. Maybe we deal with processed field recordings, or they used a whole bunch of Tibetan bowls or bells, or even just a bunch of analogue synthesizers, but the result is the same anyway: long sustaining fields of massive sounds. This is not the lightweight version of ambient/drone/atmospheric music, but it seems that the complete weight of the universe is bundled into this, with quite some drama to it. In 'Afterglow' they also use voices, humming majestically, but which I may find a bit so so, too gothic for my taste. With it's howling guitar played with an e-bow this is also the least favourite track of mine. It breaks a bit with the cosmic scenery of the other four, all which I quite enjoyed, with perhaps 'Dark Ages', the closing piece as the best of the lot. Dark, moody but not without a sense of melody. Great release, although to be honest, nothing new under the sun.
Genre/Influences: Dark-ambient, soundscape.
Background/Info: This work resulted from the common efforts of Bardoseneticcube (Russia) and Shinkiro (Japan). Both artists are already active for a couple of years now and have already released an album together under the Bashin moniker. This album entitled “Four Noble Truths” got released in 2011 on Athanor (France).
Content: This album reveals 5 compositions leading the listener in a quite progressive, but dark and somewhat cellar-like sound universe. You feel like you are walking through endless corridors where haunting sonic waves progressively come down on you. From high resonating and sharp noises to low, vibrating sound vibes this work will give you an instant freaky sensation.
The work sounds like it is being reinforced by aquatic field recordings (or samplings) while a kind of industrial-ambient sounds can be heard as well. “Inner And Outer Space” is an imaginary exploration of a doom- and hell-like sound universe where an endless darkness will fall over the poor visitors.
+ + + : There’s a cool progression in the global composition, which mainly comes through during the first cuts and the great debut track. This is a work with some strong visual appeal.
- - - : The progression of the tracks sounds cool although doesn’t reveal any kind of climax so in the end –and especially on both last cuts, there’s a stagnating aspect running through this work.
Conclusion: If this work is meant to explore different aspect and corners of space, it for sure will rapidly become a kind of nightmare made of terrorizing sounds and disturbing passages. It will however appeal for lovers of extreme sensations in sound.
Best songs: “Fluctuations”.
I have had several opportunities to review Bardoseneticcube’s work, but this is the first I have heard of Shinkiro. According to his website, Shinkiro is a “Japanese dark ambient project by Manabu Hiramoto, started in 2003 to express the inner landscapes of humanity. The music can be described as ‘soundtrack to imaginary film with dark ambience.’ Recently, his musical exploration has expanded not only into the meditative and deep but also into his personal terrain of Shinto and Buddhism.” Bardoseneticcube is a dark ambient/industrial project from St. Petersburg. Now with Bardoseneticcube, you never really know what you’re going to get, so let’s see how these two artists work together. “Fluctuations” opens with the kind of spacey dark ambient that I have come to expect from Zhelezobeton. “Evolution” keeps this feel going with the moving of tectonic plates and warbling synth. Reminds me of older Lustmord and Rapoon. “Inflation” is where we begin to see the synthesis of these acts. Like the previous tracks, it begins peacefully, with slowly shifting synth notes that hold for several measures at a time. But this is all an illusion, as it becomes progressively harsher as the track evolves. This is what you hear right before you cross the event horizon. After another interlude of spacey ambient in “Afterglow,” we move to the conclusion in “Dark Ages.” Heavily processed, sped up robot voices, a woman holding out one note, and bits of timpani all help to bring the spacy drone down to earth. This is the chaotic element of Bardoseneticcube that I enjoy. Overall, this is quite enjoyable and makes me interested to hear more from Shinkiro. This album weighs in at around 52 minutes and is limited to 333 copies.