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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Krakenkraft Sonic Hymnary (2023)

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

An album that explores multiple facets underlying the universe of EM inspired by a more experimental approach

1 Deriative 6:23

2 Mysterious Sines 5:06

3 Curvilinear Space 6:01

4 And he Built a Crooked House 4:48

5 Seclusion 6:41

6 Defconcentration 5:15

7 Lurking Corridor 5:09

8 Squeaking Chair 4:07

9 Deriative (vocal mix) 6:26

(DDL/CD-(R) 49:57) (V.F.)

(Experimental ambient, Drone)

SONIC HYMNARY for an album that explores multiple facets underlying the universe of electronic music (EM) inspired by a more experimental approach. Krakenkraft is an electronic music project of Andreas Winterer, a musician, painter and author from Munich, Germany. Since the late 90's he has been making EM with a high proportion of field recordings, both wild and civilized. Although he seeks to develop a sonic and musical signature of his own, the styles proposed in his first album on Cyclical Dreams flirt with the atmospheres and rhythms of Ian Boddy, Bakis Sirros and Stephen Parsick. But, for the most part, his approach is rather unique with structures whose minimalist aspect is thwarted by subtle variations in its evolutions. At least in this SONIC HYMNARY, a first album on the Argentinian label that oscillates between experimental and/or cinematographic ambient music with sound panoramas drawn from a massive use of drones. This first Krakenkraft download album joins this list of hard to tame albums on this label. But it's not the most difficult, as some of the tracks are accessible at first listen. The use of headphones is more than highly recommended since the sound samplings is an integral part of the success that we will stick to this album after 2 or 3 listenings.

Deriative sets the tone to this album with one of those secret rhythmic structures that inspire the many panoramas of a sparkling musical and sound flora. A shadow of whispers and beats without rhythmic urge deliver a dark opening from which emerge a variety of rather diverse tinkling and of other tinkling effects. The beats begin to accelerate the pace after the 2nd minute. The rhythm remains as ambient as discreet, even if our fingers tap the arm of our listening chair, in my case a soft La-Z-Boy. These muffled pulsations resonate in symbiosis with the vibrating effect of the synth shadows and of the buzzing drone blasts, giving a jerky relief to this dark ambient rhythmic backbone that gradually becomes addictive. For their part, the tinkling sounds develop into luminous filaments, and their tunes radiate in the gloomy ambiences whose samplings of murmurs and of footsteps echoing on a road buried under the earth vaguely remind the sordid universe of ['ramp]. Another element of seduction which is not to be neglected in this album is the close relation between the meaning of a title and its music. Thus, Mysterious Sines proposes an atmospheric structure as mysterious as its geometrical vision with a series of hums whose vibrations concoct imperfect circles which stretch into an ambient crawling rhythm. They become equally unfinished undulations, creating a rhythmic structure blown by a tuba player who hesitates on the scale, on the length of his breaths. The synth elaborates a ghostly melodic texture that is equally spectral and mysterious. We have to make our neurons work to fully appreciate this title which is all the same rather creative! Curvilinear Space is a dark ambient style track with sonic filaments that squeak in a mass of radioactive buzzes. We can hear some dull explosions, reminding us of those falls and/or explosions of glaciers in the Doombient universe of Stephen Parsick. Then, And he Built a Crooked House proposes an ambient rhythm with creeping oscillations that have a fine organic and/or vampiric texture. The movement is slow and articulated around large undulating loops with contours irradiated by a granular glitch texture that rise and fall in a vision of invasion by invertebrate creatures.

Seclusion wonderfully carries the meaning of its title with a long passage of tenebrous ambiences where its buzzing and gloomy breaths let filter samplings of an underground nature. It's a bit like being trapped in a cave built like a labyrinth. Defconcentration is the perfect example of a track that we will appreciate better as we listen to it. This longest track of SONIC HYMNARY proposes a secret structure. Its rhythm is as uncertain as the walk of a fox sniffing the trap. But it is also very beautiful because of this fascinating rubbery texture from which the organic gurgling effects take us into a fairy universe. The rhythm unties ample loops of elastic bass pulsations that progress methodically. Cadenced wood cracks (yes-yes) and a more crystalline shadow stand out. The echo of its tinklings is in symbiosis with the rhythm and radiates from its measure which becomes more and more determined. The bass pulsations are better defined and structure a slow rhythm that is snaked around by a necklace of moiré arpeggios that dictates its harmonic path. The crackings of wood initiate an opening to the title towards an abundance of field recordings of a strange nature. An element that is not devoid of charm, except that the main attraction of Defconcentration is its link with the magical universe of Ian Boddy that shines with its thousand lights on this track. Excellent! Lurking Corridor takes possession of our headphones with spaced out snorings, creating a minimalist ambient rhythm to which metronomic clicks are added. The dark texture reminds me of The Cure's creepy and melancholic ambiences. The keyboard sculpts a distant melodic vision, a bit like a poem losing its verses in the fog. The tone of its arpeggios changes color, modifying its harmonious axis which becomes a little brighter when shimmering shadows begin to float in symbiosis with their tinklings. You can really hear a chair creaking in the opening of Squeaking Chair. The synth shadows bubbling in the back of its panorama instill a scary movie texture with more luminescent and slightly high-pitched elements that are escaping, much like spectral figures taking shape from a fog coming from an eerie swamp. The color of the timbres also varies slightly, creating a creepy cinematic ambience that tells the cursed stories of the former owners of the wooden rocking chair. Deriative (vocal mix) closes this new album-download to come out of the Cyclical Dreams universe with voice samplings, not singing, which gives it an ambience that flirts with paranoia.

I took my time before talking to you about this SONIC HYMNARY from Krakenkraft. It's an album that becomes more interesting when you listen to it more carefully, noticing its subtle evolutions, its influences and its vast sonic scope constituted by recording fields that lead us to flirt with horizons that surpass the dimension of our expectations.

Sylvain Lupari (February 21st, 2023) ***¾**

Available at Cyclical Dreams Bandcamp

(NB: The texts in blue are links you can click on)

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