[Reviewed by: Iaha Crax]
The Tunguska Event happened about a century ago and generated debates and papers in a large number. The “largest impact event on or near Earth” that took place near the Tunguska River has since received several interpretations in popular culture.
Zoharum was contacted by the two noise-makers with the proposal of a record inspired by this theme. Eric Jarl is involved in Skin Area, Jarl and IRM and David Reed is an American ambient artist working with his two main projects, Envenomist and Luasa Raelon.
They compiled the Siberian cataclysm in 5 parts supposedly connected to different perspectives of sonic cartography. Having in mind the dark ambient surrealist sculptures, Skin Area’s “Rothko Field” and Envenomist’s “The Helix”, it’s no surprise that the present record debuts with highly quality dark ambient. Part I presents the slow-motioned cataleptic trip through the desolated territories attained by the mysterious plague. Arachnoid textures grasp on sleazy drones which are punctually stabbed down by echoing hammers.
The nightmarish journey enters on Part II on extraterrestrial areas suggested by alarming space frequencies that surround the mental faculties of the wanderer in a nimbus of paradoxical euphoria. Beeps and industrial hissings burst out from subtle drones, delivering images of radioactive swamps and generating deformed perceptions. Subsequent reflections enable the tracing of connections between the Tunguska event and the potential accident of an alien vessel that may have determined the terrible conflagration. Linear turbulent noises steam out from a changing background and climb high up to the nostrils, invading and alienating the mind. The supernatural atmosphere unravels a bleaker vision of electronics in the vein of Alphane Moon, where the magic is replaced by sinister, hostile, non-human ambiance which has aspects from Closing The Eternity and other Russian projects.
There is an immediate evidence of the cinematic expansion the music has here. The slow moving sounds of Part III delight by their Tarkovsky-ian placidity and fine modulation of scientific exactness. Any sense of the grotesque can hardly be felt, as the queer yantras bear little significance of what we call human. The sentiment is almost undefined and maybe recognizable in the contemplation of a mine at night.
Part IV keeps you awake in a continuous agitation upon receiving undistinguishable voices of elemental lamentations. A mind-poisoning lustre of ambiguous and spectral textures that brings to mind the voice manipulations experimented on the Vishuda Kali feat. Velehentor album “Myths about Srontgorrth”. Afterwards even the sound of your own voice could make you tremble. The intercourse of industrial and eerie ambient is also present on Part V, a mechanical Deutsch Nepal vibe played along the score of past Ah-Cama Sotz or X-NAVI:ET horror glitches. The avidity of the dungeon-like crawling and slithering noises exhaust an already appalled and contrived psyche, completely absorbed now in the Tungusk-ian atmosphere.
The technical details are all the more satisfying when you’re in possession of the CD: 300 copies in ecopack sleeve, graphics by Karolina Urbaniak, mastering by Lukasz Miernik and processing by Michal Porwet. The blast of the explosion from 1908 at Tunguska, a 1000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima one, left nothing like fragments from asteroids or meteorites, only devastated nature. Another terrestrial event transformed into myth and pictured in a plethora of words, colors and sounds, uniquely rendered in a genuine transcription by this Jarl/Envenomist collaboration.