Arkona – Acid Landscapes

Arkona - Acid Landscapes

CD, Zoharum, 2011
www.zoharum.com

Poland is a land where a lot can happen. Politically things started changing in the early 80’s with the solidarity movement, leading the country into a state where thinking different was allowed and applauded. On the other hand it is still a country where due to the religion (above 85% of the people are Catholic) certain progression or ‘different thinking’ or acting is not condoned or appreciated. The result is a country where people are progressive yet somehow held back: a state of tension.
This tension can very well be heard on Arkona’s album “Acid Landscapes”. Partially it’s a great album because you can play it at any time of the day. It has moments which are great for background filling, and a few tracks that with the proper use of chemicals will make it impossible not to move. Sound-wise there are tracks built around experiments with gear or software and there are tracks which know experiments with style influences. Bits of acid, ritual, dub, industrial, dance, space all over the place.
Before the ‘judgement’ a few more words. Zoharum is the label which released “Acid Landscapes” and you might know the name Zoharum from their previous releases by, for example, Troum, [Haven], Bisclaveret and Horologium. Not the smallest of names in the scene, so there must be something good in what they’re doing.
About Arkona there is not much to say, as his name is quite new to the music-scene. But as an artist (real name: Karol Su-Ka) he has been active for 20 years in many other territories – painting, performing, DJ-ing, VJ-ing, singing and, of course, as musician.
So, about “Acid Landscapes”… The promo-sheet states it’s “the next installment in the ‘Into Your Hands Hearts Hallucination’ series” and as stated before, with the proper chemicals it can change your view on reality. The album is built from four private releases by Arkona which were compiled into this 80 minute album. It couldn’t handle a second of sound more!
“Acid Landscapes” is a well thought of title and it does fit the release very well. It’s a symbiosis between a more soundscape-like approach of equipment used for acid. But! Probably because it’s been compiled of 4 different releases which were created over 7 years, the whole lacks a bit of coherence which would have made the release stronger. The result is an album which describes a tense landscape which is filled with progression, but held back by an unknown, unidentified and probably non-existing yet powerful force.
If Psychic TV in their acid era is your thing, you have to try it.

[7/10]

— Bauke van der Wal