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act 72 · ambre · enclave · cd

a new collaboration between olivier moreau, john n. sellekaers and c-drik, following their previous projects, urawa (on nova zembla) and torsion (on re-load ambient). ambre finds its strongest power moments in the simplicity and essence of the elements, it even reaches the point by refusing the use of any kind of beats with the shifts in it's threatened atmospheres. forbidden frequencies are merged seamless with unseen fear and organic consciousness - constructing some of the remotest soundtracks imaginable - a gorgeous sampled environment, hidden behind world's abusing evil. emotions are not considered here at all - they are replaced by sensorial stimulation. restricted to the essence, this is a timeless album, arising from a blinding, beatless labyrinth of beauty. sometimes the truth is just behind the surface.. special tracing-paper booklet.

the truth is just behind the surface...

khan, reflux, escale, lame, métempyscose, colosse, vertige, chimère, cocon, étant

imminent starvation webpage
xingu hill webpage


Voici un nouveau projet d'Olivier Moreau (Delta Files, Imminent Starvation) ici accompagné de deux comparses (dont un membre des technoïdes Xingu Hill). Si la superbe pochette au bleu translucide (d'une rare beauté) peut laisser imaginer une musique aux conséquences béates, les sons souvent rauques ont plutôt tendance à emmener l'oreille vers la pénombre de cratères sous-marins. Le traitement du son est d'une qualité exceptionnelle. Il est rare de pouvoir être comblé à ce point à l'écoute entière d'un disque ambient, tant les ambiances - justement - sont à la fois nombreuses et fortes ici (Lame est un titre oppressant à merveille). Il ne s'agit pas ici de pondre un nouveau projet parallèle à fin d'entretien d'ego, mais bien de créer le murmure novateur qui manquait à nos tympans avant l'éclosion. JL

Re:Mote Induction
This is the first release by the group Ambre and it is a "dark ambient" sound. I tend to feel that broadly speaking there are two types of "dark ambient", there is the mediaeval dark ambient, and this type, which I think of as mechanical, space ambient. So this release should appeal to fans of work like Coil (Hellraiser Themes), Legion (Die Datenschleuder) or Black Lung(Unconvincing Simulations Of Happiness)- contemporary sounds for contemporary fears. Though an alternative phrase for description could be taken from that which Ant-Zen is using to describe its music: "industrial music, chilling ambient, technoid rhythms & power electronics", this sound is definitely "chilling ambient".
The inlay for this CD is made from tracing paper - thin and transparent - with a pale sort of clear sky blue tint; there is an image here but it's not quite clear what of, although in large washed out letters, it does say "enclave" across the folded out booklet. The members of Ambre are John N. Sellekaers, Olivier Moreau and C-Drik. Through various combinations, these three have worked together on a number of projects as well as their own - Sellekaers works as Xingu Hill, and has worked with Moreau as Urawa and Torsion. In addition Moreau has worked as Delta Files, and perhaps better known to Ant-Zen fans, as Imminent Starvation. While C-Drik has worked with Moreau as Axiome.
The CD has ten tracks which when listened to late at night on headphones allow much to be read into the meaning and significance of the music. I have listened to this CD a number of times before attempting to review it so I have a certain feel for it - but sitting here at night in these circumstances, I am reading so much more into it, so the following is just one interpretation of what the music represents; which may of course, be wrong or startlingly close to the truth. Khan is the beginning, the cold sound of space, floating in a way particularly reminiscent of Legion.
Coming through the planetary atmosphere we have the sound of flow round the body of a craft, Reflux is uneasy. Escale continues the theme of arrival but with a much greater degree of imminent menace - indecipherable voice buried in the mix, touching a cold nerve. These two tracks feel like an arrival, something significant is happening and the official tones of the half-heard voice seem to back this feeling up.
So far the CD has relied on heavily dark bass sound - cold slabs of ambience. Lame is different, with sounds clashing, breaks and pauses. This has a searching feeling, looking round -stop-look back-stop-rotate. A tinge of fear perhaps suggests the fear of discovery and the potential discovery. Leading into Metempsycose the realization of potential, of denial leading to flight/pursuit. We hear a bubbling / babbling sound which feels like being surrounded by incomprehension. This is different from the initial unease of Enclave, tension is mounting and fears have been disturbingly realized.
Colosse is the sound of a machine - the steady rhythm of a press, some heavy compaction device or the fall of a cutting point - an alarm sounds warning ("stand clear!") and then the contact, a point meeting a surface. This is then joined by a mounting buzzing sound - a precision instrument, a cutting blade or searching probe ? This is the sound of successful pursuit, of capture and exploration of a helpless test subject - with the vocal element of someone screaming. But just as the subject can take no more and has let go the music becomes soothing.
Vertige is the sound of confusion and decompression - a voice is used as a sound, and a sound reflects a gaseous release. The subject released trying to re-establish their bearings, trying to come to terms with something they can not quite remember. The pulsing sound continues as an element into Chimere becoming extremely hypnotic. Once this feeling has been achieved a passionless voice speaks "They take you aboard the ship to perform the tests" - if you haven't felt the pressure by now then this messes with your head. The sounds layer - mixing in and out - the effect being of a mounting horror - possibly that accompanying recollection under hypnotic recollection ? As this piece ends we are given the mounting vocal discharge of the tormented before an outcry, and we fade out.
Cocon starts with an electronic chiming - giving an impression of striking an electronic xylophone - short sharp pulses. There is the feeling of a repeating voice -which conjures to images - the first is of an alien gibbering, like that of Mars Attacks, but with none of the comedy ; or of disbelief and doubt "bah, bah, bah" (sheep ? - following the accepted ? - what you have said goes against what is accepted so we will go against it !). As this piece progresses we have the return of the victim (a half heard "please") conjuring revisitation and a struggling to come to terms with the truth. On previous listens this track had reminded of Black Lung, but less so on this listen.
The album and the dark journey it evokes ends with Etant, another title like so many of the others which conjures the Belgian origin of the groups members. This track relives some of the bass unease of the start. But it also feels like a conclusion - a return to space - a button sounding a completion - the night is over and you have woken - you are breathing heavily, something upset your peaceful sleep - a sense of unease returns and you remember that perhaps everything does not end happily ever after. At least that is one interpretation of the album, mine on this occasion, and perhaps it was led by Chimere's dialogue. But it does show how evocative this album can be !

L'ultime atome, newsletter 01/99
Faire mention de cet opus en ces présentes pages, soit plus de neuf mois après sa parution, peut sembler anachronique. Je ne remâcherai pas pour me défendre des accusations de 'trainage de savate' qui pointent au bout de vos langues, nos préceptes d'anti-mode: nous les avons déjà assez samplés et remixés. En l'occurence, quand sa densité fait d'un disque un monolithe (isolé: forcément. Que ceux qui connaissent des monolithes rois des banquets ou champion de karaoké - bref conviviaux- me les amènent.); quand ils se dévoilent dans la longueur, un peu plus irisé à chaque rotation, il n'est pas grave alors d'en rendre compte (ou de s'en rendre compte) au printemps suivant. Puisqu'il s'appréciera, isolément, pour nombre de printemps à venir. En effet, Olivier Moreau et John Sellekaers (alias Torsion), n'ont invité ni Richard Ashcroft ni Gonzo Wasis à venir coincouiner dedans le micro. Ils ont offert une tribune à tous les neurones déficients, mutilés de guerre, pétés du casque qui peuplent leurs cerveaux. Profont. Dément. Ambient. Le fruit de leur délire égale dans sa majeur partie le fabuleux SETI de Lagowski. Direction très très loin sous la terre. Un nid douillet, frais et tourbeux. La pièce est imbibée d'un halo de vapeur gris-bleu, o¯ émergent quelques tubercules et racines venant de la surface, tout là-haut. Ces racines transmettent du bruits, triés sur le volet. En résulte une constante dans le crête, dans l'intensité sonore (qui génère la sensation de linéarité de la première approche). C'est harmonisé avec fluidité et ce qu'il faut d'ambivalence. Pour les gourmets donc, et pas pour les gros vilains ogres hydrocéphales. Première pierre, et aboutissement, voilà un disque fier et achevé. Dans mon bac, je le rangerai entre les carnets du sous-sol et la vidéo de Eraserhead. Mr. Opples

mute! #3
john sellekaers (xingu hill), olivier moreau (imminent starvation), and c-drik have assembled as one electronic entity to form this disconsolate ambient exemplar. retiring from the artist's renowned pulsating rhythmic noise, this project explores the abysmal atmospheres of rhythm-void ambience. the discerning textures of strangely abating dissonance seem to ensure an intended incessant pattern. as one lies down to sleep at night a comparable pattern arises. the body's functions nearly cease to promote proper repose, and the mind eventuates into memory organization. while this neurotic organization takes place, the mind casually conjures images and sounds into disarranged and supernatural scenes, which cause inward dread and wretchedness. when the neurological chaos comes to a cease, the body descends into a state of content, only to soon be ravaged again in the morrow. ambre introduces an atmosphere of absolute solace with beautiful sound schemes, and progressively creeps into your innermost fears and introduces them fresh vivacity. dread always remains surreptitously amid tranquility. (vd)

ambre est un projet de musique électronique atmosphérique de john sellekaers (xingu hill), olivier moreau (imminent, axiome) et de c-drik (axiome, f-drik). remarquons pour commencer la superbe pochette en papier bleu transparent, imprimé de l'artwar de s.alt. on remarque tout de suite une ressemblance avec la thématique du dernier album d'imminent, nord (les mêmes genres de plantes sont utilisées pour la couverture). mais là s'arrête toute ressemblance avec imminent. c'est bel et bien un projet dambient, peut-être même atmosphérique, car il n'y presque pas de rythmes. des sons longs, répétitifs, des ronronnements qui semblent s'étendre à l'infini.

black #12
als ich neulich mal wieder nach stundenlanger rituellen waschung aus meiner badewanne stieg, stetig nach luft japsend die treppen zu meinem ruheraum erklomm und schlie§lich kurz vor dem umfallen auf die matratze noch die play-taste meines cd-spielers drückte, war etwas anders als sonst. zwar raste zum anfang noch mein herz, doch schon nach wenigen minuten erfa§ten mich eisige schallwellen, die immer wieder und stetig gegen meinen körper anbrandeten und diesen somit zur schnellsten abkühlung brachten. völlig regungslos und wie in trance harrte ich der dinge und kalte ströme durchzogen meine adern - was war geschehen? ich hatte am vortage ein neues promopäckchen von ant zen bekommen und eine cd schon eingelegt, war dann aber doch nicht zum anhören gekommen. ambre ist ein neues projekt von olivier moreau (besser bekannt als imminent starvation), bei welchem er mit c-drik und john sellekaers zusammenarbeitet. mit letztgenannten formierte er schon die projekte torsion, urawa und delta files, die alle schon auf cd-veröffentlichungen im kk records umfeld verweisen können. ebenso wie gerade genannten projekte ist ambre im dark ambient/isolationsbereich anzusiedeln und erfüllt alle somit gesetzten erwartungen. am ehesten könnte man ambre mit stromlinie vergleichen, nur das die belgier vielleicht etwas druckvoller sind...? die atmosphäre ist bedrohlich und kalt, die sounds sind abenteuerlich und abwechslungsreich, die laufzeit der einzelnen 10 tracks ist nicht übermä§ig lang, was mehr als löblich zu betrachten ist und das booklet ist bläulich transparent. das artwork ist auch wieder sehr gelungen und mit welchem der salt ein wenig an seine früheren arbeiten anschlie§t. wieso habe ich eigentlich gar keinen puls mehr...? "the truth is just behind the surface..." (m.f.)

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