CD-R, still*sleep, 2009
This single-track collaboration is a meeting point of two talented but lesser-known Russian sound sculptors. Unlike many collaborations where the contribution of each participant is hard to distinguish, here they stand out clearly: Sister Loolomie provides the backbone with layers of distant drones, while Kryptogen Rundfunk provides the details and the grittiness with his trademark radio noises. The result is a personal one, although some parallels can be drawn with early works of Bad Sector or mid-period Wilt.
“[w]interloop[s]” kicks off calmly by immersing the listener in slowly expanding, shimmering drones. The cool atmosphere gradually gives way to a faint warmer melody, while the soothing hisses and crackling radio statics are building momentum. As the melody fades into distance, the atmosphere takes a turn in a colder direction. What used to be soothing becomes grinding, what used to be distant becomes ominous. Brief voice snippets appear from the ether just to soon vanish back into the crackling statics. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a beautiful melody appears, bringing with it a warm, bassy grinding. Together with well placed radio frequency tweaks, warm scratches and shimmering layers of noises they form a powerful and moving crescendo. As this highlight fades, the mechanical grinding starts dominating once again and forcefully plunges the listener back into a void of lingering hisses and ice cold crackles. One does not need to wait too long, though, as soon the melodic parts appear once again, providing a slow and relaxed comedown, back to the waking world.
Ambient, and especially drone, is a form of music where being hasty is a sin. Calling a half an hour track rushed would be an exaggeration, but when this single track is formed out of five quite distinct sections, one cannot help feeling that things are cut a bit shorter than necessary. Allowing for the atmospheres of each section to develop further and putting more care into making the transitions smoother would have definitely made this collaboration stronger. Still, even as it stands now, “[w]interloop[s]” is a nice, small piece of droney ambient, which is well balanced between the melodic and the grittier elements. Let’s just hope that the artists find time in the future to develop these ideas further.
— Ville L.