CD, Some Place Else, 2009
This new album from the Finnish musician Niko Skorpio, released on his own label, Some Place Else, is based on a pretty unusual concept: the raw materials used for all of its tracks are old tapes of the artist’s early bands from the 80’s (essentially heavy metal demos and live bootlegs), which have been completely destroyed, cut, re-edited and processed to eventually obtain some brand new material, which absolutely doesn’t sound like heavy metal anymore, but more fits into the dark ambient and drone genres.
The result of this peculiar composition method is actually quite difficult to classify. This record generates some dark, stifling atmospheres on one hand (as in the track “Numberless Reflections”, for example) and some psychedelic bright intervals on the other hand (as in “Untitled [or meeting Niels Bohr’s Ghost in the Rotting Wood]”, amongst others). Speaking of psychedelics, the record’s title comes from the name of a psychoactive mushroom. Many of the sounds used here are pretty shrill, and most of the time it’s almost impossible to identify the instruments they’ve been created with in the first place, because the sounds are processed and melted onto one another to the point of becoming unrecognizable. From time to time, you can yet hear some organ notes, and although most of the tracks are instrumental, the final piece (“The Backward Trail”) contains some spoken words, which are declaimed on an odd and disturbing intonation.
Niko Skorpio describes his album as a metaphor of a new life form emerging from the remains of an old one, of which components have been resettled into a new configuration. He seems to compare his own work to that of a geneticist, manipulating and reconstructing tapes and sounds as if they were DNA. An interesting and original concept, indeed.
— Olivier Noel