Arciv ev Noise is a project from Poland that released their latest work maintenant (French for “now”) on the experimental Enough Records netlabel. Not much seems to be known about them on the Internet (or I was too silly
to look at the right places), except that their music is described as dark ambient and experimental drone. But let’s quickly forget these superficial tags, as they omit a lot of individuality that shines through the entire release, like their lavish cover artwork, which exhibits a highly skilled level of typographic design and a fine sense for contrasts.
At first a view from 102000 metres above: The work makes sense as a whole in its determined play order and is remarkable for not having any weak spots despite its length of nearly 60 minutes. There are no contradictions in style, and whilst arrangements remain lean they provide enough events to not become monotonous or even annoying. Although the dark and tragic character of the music is prevailing in all tracks, everything is well balanced here: Just
as much hovering chords or noise trapped in echo loops as
necessary to maintain the darkness but at the same time sufficient alterations and contrasting elements to avoid a repetitive liturgy. A lot of Power-/MacBook “it-is-art-because-I-said-so” lightshow improvisateurs could learn a lesson
or two from Arciv ev Noise’s approach of describing a lively scenery without resorting to platitudes like ten boring minutes of footsteps walking down
a museum hall recordings.
A view on details: There seem to be several references to contemporary Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki which become apparent in culmination points of dense tone clusters and slow motion like modulations. Even though musical structures are sometimes stretched close to the breaking point, they still remain recognisable as such. Of course, there are also attributes that can be associated with contemporary electro acoustics like field recordings drowning in echo, backwards running noise snippets and the obligatory vault sound, albeit a sophisticated variant that differentiates between fore- and background (varying degree of reverberation). There may not be an easy access to Arciv ev Noise’s music and it only reveals its full potential after having listened to it several times. But once caught in it, there are a lot
of additional details to discover with each new turn.
If I were to assign a movie scene to maintenant then it would more or less read like: Abondonned ruins of a former civilisation. Someone in ragged clothes
is creeping along the remnants of walls, seeking shelter from a cold, biting wind. A skeleton buried in snow, a washed out doll. And straight ahead
a winding, snow covered road to an unknown destination. In other words, maintenant is a fantastic and inspiring release, which I can highly recommend for downloading to those who are neither afraid of experimentation
nor complication and enjoy creating their own sceneries in their mind whilst listening to
Edited by microust on 27 Feb 2009, 12:48
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