[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]
The polish label Zoharum released this record in 2012, integrating the False Dawn album originally edited in 1992, some pieces from old demos as bonus tracks, and the 3 pieces of the album revisited and remixed by 3 polish projects.
Andrew Lagowski worked under the Legion moniker for more than 10 years as a counterbalance to his main focus project, the electronic techno-nurtured S.E.T.I.. False Dawn is Legion’s debut, and this re-release celebrates its 20-year anniversary.
False Dawn invites us to rediscover Lagowski and regain contact with one of the best dark ambient projects around. The style here is easily correspondent with past Lustmord works, and it is known that Lagowski has worked as a programmer for the American project. The textures are rich and powerful, with harsh, cutting ambient structures, gathering a plethora of strange dynamic effects all in close touch with the cinematic world of moving images. The huge first track, “Colossus”, veraciously perpetrates the image of an immense body that simply does not correspond to the laws of Euclidian physics. All these extraterrestrial sounds that biting our ears and altering the brain install a sense of cerebral despondency when confronted with elements from another cognitive perspective. In terms of impact on the brain eulogy, Lagowski adopts an analyst maneuver, the alleged objective of which is to desiccate the fear apparatus controlling the human mind. His approach is mostly direct and surgically refined as he seems to work under the impulse of a criminologist. “Colossus” is followed by an interlude piece, “Accurone”, a techno-beat injection of virtual potency. The third and final track, “Plasma Pool”, delves into the introspective side of Lagowski’s brain; dark-ambient electronica with the author’s trademarks: sinister, gloomy and aseptic, sometimes even clinical, discourse. The listener is called to absorb the sounds as if he had been immersing in a plasma-textured pool, allowing himself to be invaded by this non-human elemental state. Lagowski is a programmer and treats his sounds in a highly professional manner, like a carpenter would treat his wood. In an interview he mentioned having used on False Dawn the cackling of a schizophrenic patient and other digital sounds ‘stolen’ from the hospital that was his workplace at the time. These sounds are here so finely modulated as to recreate a filmic development of a cruel, dark scenario that will become another reality for the mind.
This hour of atomic night music that fills the False Dawn album is followed by 7 unreleased bonus tracks from the same incipient Legion period. Andrew Lagowski is a plenipotentiary ambient visionary, and features of the following tracks actualize a deformed and dissociated portrait of the artist. The Videodrome-derived “Tunnelvision”, the demo version of the Cabaret Voltaire induced “Accurone”, the tragic musical tableau of “Komarov”, the uncommonly fetishistic “The Somnambulist”, a complete version of “Tunnelvision”, a death industrial masochistic “Burial Of Books” and a sacerdotal, coalescent inverse prayer in “The Midnight Illumination”.
And, as if this wasn’t enough, Zoharum completes the record with 3 remixes by known Polish artists of the genre. Geomatic reshapes “Colossus” into a sublunary lounge trippy ambiental code, Zenial plays on “Accurone” with robotic machinist manipulation and Maciek Szymczuk fills the “Plasma Pool” with more common states of matter.
Zoharum regaled us with 2 CDs of splendid dark ambient as a celebration and worthy memento of this lost and forgotten first Legion album. By all means, this rediscovery of past ambient scrolls, where the genuine origins of dark music lie, can only mean an occasion for rejoicing our palate with these savors.
Lagowski Presents Legion – False Dawn (20th Anniversary Expanded Edition)
Zoharum, ZOHAR 033-2
Legion. My favorite project from A. Lagowski. Here’s hoping he resurrects it at some point.
For me (Przemek) this re-release was actually the first encounter with Legion (although I really like other Lagowski projects), so still have some music to catch up. It is awesome indeed.