STEPHEN PARSICK: Permafrost-Music for Hibernation (2010)
Updated: Oct 10, 2020
“This is an experimental ambient music where Stephen Parsick innovates within advanced techniques of recording”
1 Part I
2 Part II
3 Part III
4 Part IV
5 Part V
(CD-r 76:00) (V.F.)
(Dark ambient music)
The least we can say is that Stephen Parsick is not afraid of ambitious artistic projects that are out of the ordinary. Created in the Siberian coldness which fell on Eastern Europe, from December 2009 to February 2010, PERMAFROST-MUSIC FOR HIBERNATION is an ode to the icy coldness that prevailed in this sector where winter temperatures often exceeded -30 degrees Celsius. Colds that bite the skin and nature that the German designer has captured with an artistic approach worthy of the great sound explorers. In order to fully capture this symphony of ice and coldness, Stephen Parsick installed microphones to record the murmurs of ice, winds and snowfall. The result is an astonishing fairy-tale world where the loneliness of hibernation is felt at ear-tip.
An ice which forms or which cracks opens this polar dawn. Slowly, the listener feels overwhelmed by this glacial desert where silence is the only witness of an inhospitable environment. Slow lifeless strata crisscross the silence of the snows, enveloping this winter incursion in a heavy sound mantle where linear streaks tear up an ambience of white marble. Like a dance of the Northern Lights which floats before our eyes without emitting the slightest sound, a slow symphony blows in the cold. It's a magical and frightfully universe which blooms in our ears. An icy universe where the delirium of extreme cold leads us to hear sirens whispering under glass which collide and whose movements are amplified by the range of the microphones. Caustic and icy, the universe of PERMAFROST-MUSIC FOR HIBERNATION scrolls through our ears with boundless fragility and insidious cruelty that is the result of cold on an uncovered body.
Throughout this ode to coldness and loneliness, Stephen Parsick modulates his sounds in such a way as to lead the listener into the twilight of an endless winter with drones that circulate under slow morphic strata. They are layers of a caustic synth that reach paroxysms of tension while sliding through ambiences with permutations of temperatures. This 76-minute long title drifts like a boat without a captain with all the meticulousness of its Siberian exploration where good strata, sometimes obscure but also of a fine clarity, are floating a little as if the light wanted to filter through this thick curtain of water. Hovering with slow modulations and fine oscillations, the music reaches summits of tranquility in a universe nevertheless lined with heavy layers which tear through the winter silence, like an enormous knife mutilating a sheet of silk.
PERMAFROST-MUSIC FOR HIBERNATION is part of the registers of experimental music where its designer innovates with advanced and above all very risky recording techniques. The final product is a strange winter symphony where the cosmos is frozen under water, but perceptible because of the sound fauna which easily lends itself to the delirium of a solitude where everything can be intertwined, like mirages of virginal coldness. Fans of Stephen Parsick and of his ambitious Dark-Ambient style projects won't be disappointed by this ode to the darkness of the frozen abysses. Because even if the universe of this style is strongly requested, the German synthesist always manages to amaze by his audacity and his poetic heaviness.
Sylvain Lupari (August 23rd, 2009) ***½**
Available at [´ramp] Bandcamp