SCAMALL: A World Behind the Silence (2009)
Updated: Feb 10
“Sometimes just music, without the noises, would have been superbly delicious”
1 Offline 3:29
2 Warts and All 9:09
3 Screaming Trees 4:48
4 Wrapped 6:24
5 Vanishing Haze 6:13
6 Bright 11:03
7 Before the Silence Falls 8:18
(DDL 49:25) (V.F.)
(Ambient, Abstract EM)
Scamall is the electronic music side project of Jakub Kmieć, better known as Polaris, whom we have discovered with the album Background Stories last year. A WORLD BEHIND THE SILENCE is another sound adventure coming from Poland and nests on the wonderful label Generator.pl, the same one that introduced us to the universe of Brunette Models and Aquavoice. Contrast and paradox of a melancholic but highly abstract universe, A WORLD BEHIND THE SILENCE is a real exploration of a world that has nothing silent. A complex sound universe where the Polish synthesist marvellously merges the trituration of metallic alloy and heterogeneous sonorities woven by sound samplings to an ambient music which is having a soft thin line of melancholy.
Offline begins this sonic adventure with static noises that are absorbed by a metallic entity and intertwine on a linear movement without really drawing a coherent musical structure. This opening presents an album that mixes chipped and eroded sounds through narrow, skinned passages with long, slow, ambient, meandering passages cast in industrialized spheres. It's like if we were cut off from the rest of the universe by a jamming of the waves. Anti-music or abstract art? Jakub Kmiec was inspired by the desolate and forlorn places of Sweden and Ireland to create this atonal sound homily. The silence thus depicted is constantly fractured by caustic sounds that slowly lead to tender passages where melancholy pierces this opaque wall of triturated sounds. Like on Warts and All where a good meditative line circles an intro as rowdy as in Offline. Linear, the movement resembles heartbeats on a jerky line where deformed noises and incongruous sonorities scatter this sound horizon which drops fine piano notes. It's difficult to describe adequately A WORLD BEHIND THE SILENCE. The album is constantly torn between a strange synergy of metallic screeches and crackles that short-circuit strange melancholic softness like on Screaming Trees and the spectral procession of Wrapped. Vanishing Haze is a slow meditative piece of music crossed by innumerable breaths of a metallic coldness where fine musical snippets force to weave a melodious canvas. The same goes for Bright, which is on the other hand warmer, whereas Before the Silence Falls brings us in a surrealist universe of paranoia where the soft madness occults the fine softness of an overwhelming human sadness on short periods animated by a hesitant rhythm.
A WORLD BEHIND THE SILENCE is a curious exercise of styles. Scamall visits abstract territories that will delight fans of Tetsu Inoue and some titles from the FAX catalog. While I found this mixture of crushing, grinding and shredding noises by barbed-toothed jaws over long ambient and morphic moments fascinating, it's not really my cup of tea. But sometimes just music, without the noises, would have been superbly delicious. For adventurous ears...
Sylvain Lupari (November 2nd, 2010) *****
Available at Generator PL