Ugasanie – White Silence


[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]

Pavel Malyshkin from Belarus released this album in 2013 under the Cryo Chamber label. The record label of Simon Heath from Atrium Carceri has become known for highly qualitative albums from the dark ambient musical spectrum, with projects such as Halgrath, Sabled Sun, Psychotic Void and Atrium Carceri.

Ugasanie bears the same crowned delicacy that hooks the ear and soothes the soul with affectionate soundscapes. The very opening transports the listener through the gates of an unadulterated reality, portraying a meditative support for Arnold Böcklin’s haunting tableau, Isle Of The Dead. It is as if one should abandon their herding nature and accept the death of the everyday senses, so that they may openly approach the wildness of this white-painted realm. The music here is a calm joy for the hearing, inviting you into the embrace of a gigantesque domain of limitless lands. Despite of an oppressive layer of laden structures, such suffocating accumulations of tidal sounds as can be found in “Under The Cover Of The Polar Night”, act paradoxically in a fascinating manner… And are rendered more human by the distant shrieks of birds, allowing us to see that life is still present here.

Ugasanie gathers its material from long, lonely walks in remote, snow-covered spaces. It’s like a sort of carnal dispossession that allows the musician to refill himself with a sacral presence, belonging “To The Lord Of The Polar Desert With Seven Faces”. This polar dithyramb engages shamanic music ritualism on the backbone of droning, abyssal ambient frequencies. The drones are huge in their figurative depiction and fiercely suggest human pettiness and profanity, but also a sense of religious amazement. On another plane, the subterranean cavernous musicality blasts into my numbed mind the phantasmagorical Mountains of Madness, and seeds textural similarities with the monolithic Sunn O))).

I remember reading once a biography of Roald Amundsen and his polar explorations made me dream of these vast, unbelievably white stretches of territory. “Permafrost” envisions such uncommon, untrodden lands where all you can see or hear are the sub-bass rumors of ice: whipped by winds, broken by frost or colliding with other transparent blocks. Impressive and very suggestive music, that is excellently rendered by the song’s title. “Transparency” is delicately sending us through a curtain of changing pale lights, a magical boreal shower accompanied by the light choirs of sea gulfs.

Even before knowing the next track’s title I knew it referred to the “Northern Lights”. The author really captured what he intended to describe with a genuine artistic touch. The track takes us into a magical landscape where lights change nuance as we walk further: there is an aura of sensational colors that envelops us in a soothing, friendly womb.

Silence, peacefulness and a sky asleep: this is “White Silence”, an overwhelming feeling of being widowed and in the same time engaged within the All. This homonym track seems to loosen somewhere in the air, so absently beautiful and moving along the hearing…Words dissipate in memories of other mediums of expression, like cinematography or figurative art (here bringing to mind Tarkovsky’s mineral omnipresence or Turner’s phantom-like, unhallowed tableaux).

The color changes and so do the musical nuances in “Tundra Fogs”. Now the passage becomes grey and somber, even smog-devouring, bringing in the picture a liquid sense of death or dissolution. The misty atmosphere slowly turns into a terrific deluge of obsessive fears. So the music gathers death industrial demonic arpeggios as if (Megaptera) scare-crows are watching over us with a thousand eyes.

Finally all this plethora of impressionist canvases dissipates; all that remains is the “Silence Of The Rocks”: a mournful abandonment of hope to the sole poetical salvation: Vision.
Vision is all that matters, as in an Elend song inspired by Blake’s verses, is the unwritten motto of this album. Ugasanie crafted its Vision of the polar landscape in musical terms with impressive talent and intimacy and invited us, the listeners, to take part in this mysterious voyage. Raise the anchors once more towards the White Silence!

UgasanieWhite Silence
Cryo Chamber
Digital 2014


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