Artist: Ars Sonor
Title: 124C 41+
Keywords: IDM, Rhythmic Noise, Industrial, Ambient
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
Hello hello, and welcome to yet another review at YIKIS! As you may have seen from reading the previous review, the artist Laetitia Schteinberg (Ars Sonor, iky iky) is currently in limbo with her asylum status in Sweden… we are still in need of signatures for her petition to the Swedish Migration Board to help her retain this status and avoid deportation to Russia. You can read all about her current, horrible plight at this link, which also gives you a way to do what you can to help… so please do! Needless to say, Russia’s current treatment of people in the LGBT community is horrific and senseless and desperately needs to be changed. While we all work together to do what we can so that this situation resolves as positively as possible, I am also working to review as much of this artist’s awesome work as I can, all of which she has made free for us to hear and enjoy. As stated before, this is not solely due to her situation, but also because this music is wonderful and needs to be heard, shared and enjoyed!
124C 41+ begins with a track titled ‘Disintegration’. A thrush of breath whisks us into a space of distorted bass, a groove like industrial factory workshop equipment banging into each other. Deep sonar drones whip around us like air conditioned by dust and decay. Soon all that is left is this void of unbreatheably saturated oxygen.
Next is ‘The Shed’ in which more diffuse breathing is soon entered upon by a really nice, downtempo industrial breaks section, reminding me almost of trip hop. Very downpitched, gritty… gurgling, sputtering rhythms are backed by harsh electronic ambient drones. It’s like being boiled in a massive vat of toxic sludge… only a lot more fun! The broken machinebeat continues, rims like the ticking of a grandfather clock.
Then the next piece, ‘Alma’, begins with an ambient drone that could be how the zombie apocalypse might sound. Air-tight military zone drone, strangely devoid of life. A looming horrorspace… something chimes bleakly through the static vacuum. A calamity approaches, then regresses into a thirsty darkness of low bassy echos and shrill mechanical scream. The further interruptions of static sound like downed power lines.
‘The Saints [New Flesh Mix]’ feels like dystopian string sections tuned to a menacing dirge. An industrial beat driven by the background of misery that becomes increasingly more jarring and thrilling comes in then, eventually dropping away so that we are left with the disturbing sound of a world in entropy.
‘Hold My Hand’ takes us on an interesting walk with a low, throbbing industrial break and deep, throaty drones. The addition of spacy bells that cut through the murk are very nice! Corrosion and system failure give way to an excellent section of industrial-tinged IDM rhythms, intensely programmed and coldly funky. I think I hear choirs, like a rare moment of Baroque melancholy, and piano.
Wild, bassy digital sounds are sequenced at the beginning of ‘The Saints’, soon joined by an awesome industrial/IDM rhythmscape. The machinistic sounds, the drones all drive through a sense of the absence of life. My favourite part, a lone string lead that sounds like even it is being phased out of an acoustical existence to be made electronic.
‘Unification’ brings out more intense drone and adds a deep, reverberating bass kick, like something banging on the wall of a large, cavernous chamber. A back&forth beep tone in two octaves sounds like a submarine in the mix.
After comes ‘Hold My Hand [Release Mix By Meklabor]’. It starts with a drone, quickly followed by intensely bassy and distorted percussive tones, as well as a snare being slammed in a constricted hall. This develops into an industrial groove, disjointed and almost like dub. The drone of choirs submerges into an hypnotic frequency range. I love the distorted mechanical sound of the rhythms on this one!
Afterward is ‘The Saints [Oil Mix By Meklabor]’ who so far is definitely doing top-notch remix work! We are subjected to surging drone choirs and then a deep, distorted thrust of mechanical and corrosive bass. A disquieting and filtered flute lead comes in, sounding like a queasy waiting room. The beat becomes more full, uptempo, harsh. It shifts on several occasions, feeling like a pummeling dance on the factory floor, alongside brief, distorted vocal samples. Very post-industrial.
Last is ‘Nova Akropola’, full of shrill drone feels. A somewhat martial industrial rhythm comes in, ghostly radio voices hover, stabs of air escape from ventilation systems. The music has a strange, brokenbeat kind of vibe to the way the sounds are arranged and sequenced that makes it also very trance-inducing. Ends with ambient sounds, chimes, drones of choir.
As you can see above and also hear for yourself at the link below, this is very much another quality work of art from Ars Sonor! Definitely check it out…