Silence is the first release by Ukranian Alphonse De Montfroyd, another of the recent 3″s to be released on the Berlin based Ad Noiseam label, following the LS-TTL release 43Hz as a contribution to the dark ambient series. Each track is notionally untitled, referred to on the sleeve by a sequence of dots to indicate track order along with the duration of the piece. “.” starts as a swirl of sound, mounting as it continues, diffusing in its layers. Balancing levels of whistling and oscillation, spiralling into an overall pulsation, with high-toned edges that flirt with being piercing. Details of micro sound and turned waves work through the core sound, giving a more textural effect. “..” has a grindier bass feel, flat with squelching pulses to go with that. The thump of the bass rises as the piece continues, with a more distinct bass pulse humming along, to form the slow oscillation of a spiral. This is starting to gain a vague impression of being claustrophobic, the timbre of the bass pressing in. The piece has a progressive intensification, which marks this as being more memorable than the previous track. Becoming almost a looping stroke in form. “…” begins with electronic drips, extending into repeated sonar pulses, with a little wind catching up and behind that. This gives a certain dankness, which insect pulses call out from. “….” is scraping with the rise of its electronic lines, and vague echoed effects. Coming up in looped peaks, struggling to the top, sliding down, and again. A granular tunnel effect is established, with a shuttled stroke going back and forth along its length. There is a particulate grit and increasing focus on the layers of sound that we are hearing, tending towards a more chaotic and organic system in the process. “…..” is the last piece, which mixes a warm vibe with a breathy flow and a regular ticking effect. The result works as an intensifying sustained drone, with slight details patterning its dimensional scale. The chopping tick has become more tack, more striking, periodically significant within the mix.
Alphonse de Montfroyd – Silence
This 3 inch CDR EP from Alphonse de Montroyd creeps in glacier slow. With three computers in near vicinity it took a good minute and 9 seconds before I realized that the ambient PC whine was not just particularly loud today and that instead ‘silence’ had swelled over the banks into my perceptable foreground. Medical grade scientific instruments calmly tracing the smooth contours of rising and decaying waveforms, much of the movement originating underground or in the ionosphere. Extremely frigid ambience that throbs with a cold blue light. 5 tracks, one short moment and the rest hovering between the four minute and five minute notchs. One nice aspect of the ‘Silence’ approach is the apparent restraint used here. Track time is kept long enough to establish presence but not so run on as to get lost in the noise floor of distraction. Progression is via low speed vectors with no abrupt transitions, compacting the layers into a cohesive sound mass but with a low enough density to allow lateral movement through its structure. Overall, this release has the antiseptic pallor of a microwave tower. The lack of overt biology is less pure intent and more just an uncaring and emotionless side effect of the radiating inanimate technology. At times the rotations are macroscopically rhythmic, hypnotically soothing much like the scent of gasoline. At other moments more like the oscillations of a high wattage filament just before its white light burns into infra-red atomization and then afterglow into blackness. Together the result is like running high tension wires for thousands upon thousands of kilometers, the ozone hum making inner dialogue the universal language. One I am definitely pleased to now speak.
Alphonse de Montfroyd – Silence
While the title might be a touch misleading, it does nonetheless give an indication of the intricate subtleties that this mini release encompasses. Given this is the debut release for this Ukrainian artist, 5 short(ish) pieces are showcased, and while they have an allegiance with darker forms of ambient music, they also teeter at the edge of an experimental framework (partially akin to the direction that Hazard has taken since signing to A.S.H International). Pulsations, drones, textural sounds, faint rhythms etc are explored here in a minimalist vein, focusing on subtle shifts rather then grandiose movements. Melody is also a foreign concept here (as are organic sonorities), instead the atmospheres are quite clinical and digital which gives partial recognition to the laptop experimental scene (yet I have no idea by which means these pieces have been created). Essentially representing a taster for this artists material, it will be interesting to see how he progresses it with future releases. Oh, and this particular release is limited to only 50 copies.