10″ Orange Vinyl, Substantia Innominata, 2009
Pressed on the heavy 10″ vinyl we are used to from Stefan Knappe’s label activity, I hold a bright orange output from Olhon. Olhon is the collaboration between Bad Sector and Where: Italian masters of ambience, or – which is perhaps even more appropriate – ‘creepy’ soundscapes. All their output up until now has been based on underwater sounds or sounds otherwise related to water. Lucifugus doesn’t differ in that respect (quote from the cover): “The sound sources of these tracks have been recorded putting microphones inside a large metal water tank abandoned in a forest near Arnetola, Tuscany. These tanks were originally used by miners for having spare water during the summer.”
Here the title becomes a bit more clear, as Myotis lucifugis is Latin for the little brown bat, just like miners used to be the dark.
The 10″ counts two sides, with one full track on each side. “Homo Lucifugus” on side A consists of the drones for which we know Olhon, maybe best described as ‘aquatic excursions’. Over these drones there are layers of more concrete and direct sound recordings, which make the material different from other Olhon work – and therefore at least as interesting.
The reverse side is entitled “Vox Lucifuga”, and this track is a bit more ‘playful’. It’s more active, even though it remains a drone in its purest form. Where the track is quite ‘loopy’ in the beginning, it becomes more and more desolate towards the end.
A definite must-have for admirers of the Italian experimental scene.
— Bauke van der Wal