[Reviewed by stark]
A few months ago I wrote about a Drone Records vinyl compilation, the third part of the series “Drone-Mind // Mind-Drone”. Most to my liking were two pieces by French duo Maninkari, which intrigued me enough to anchor this moniker in my memory. And since with age I have more and more problems with it, I find it to be kind of an achievement. Not much time has passed and there you go, the Polish label Zoharum releases a Maninkari full-length album entitled “Continuum Sonore Part 7>14” which, as you can guess, is a continuation of “Continuum Sonore” published in 2012 by Basses Frequencies.
A minimalist cover showing some “I don’t know what”, inside the CD they also place an emphasis on graphic asceticism. When it comes to the music as well the two brothers don’t exceed any limits in term of intensity of sound, creating compositions that are rather subdued and uncluttered with aural fireworks. Yet it has to be admitted that formally and as far as their means of expression are concerned, the material is quite varied.
Violin plays a significant role in their works, what can be seen from the very beginning of this album. A very deep and evocative drone is the base of the seventh part of “Continuum Sonore” saga – the songs are numbered from 7 to 14, because the first 6 were on the aforementioned material from 2012 – and with that very beautiful texture also a stringed instrument plays this looped, specifically classical part, with a result that makes me think of the Denovali label, and causes me to reflect that if the Germans liked dark ambient music more, Maninkari would fit very well in their catalogue. An even better drone is the foundation of the second – eighth in total – composition. Apparently it flows inconspicuously on low-frequency currents, but it bites the brain and is rather addictive. Every time at the height of this track I switch on the “repeat” function for at least 2-3 consecutive listens.
While the next part with its atmospheric tides and metallic looped rifts reminds me of Raison d’être, and no one can tell me otherwise. And later when these elements stir up with a highly tuned violin somewhere, I notice a distant echo of the much-regretted Sator Absentia. Then again some bass droning, but in a slightly different form than before, more quivering, making that during a loud listening session all the furniture in my room is shaking. In the fifth part, nice, organic sounding, I’m visited once again by Sator Absentia’s spectre because of the strings and bass pulsing in the background.
Part Six seems to be the most surreal; to a certain point it refuses to take any particular form or structure and perhaps that is why it’s so disturbing. In the latter part the horror begins, a psychological vivisection of a mind falling into insanity. The penultimate fragment for some strange reason reminds me of the outstanding Fabrice du Welz movie called “Vinyan” which at some level could be described in the previous sentence I used to describe this track. So it’s all interrelated.
Too many self-destructive emotions the French included in the last several minutes, so the finale seems a bit calmer, which doesn’t mean that their music has suddenly become positive in any way. Delicate, drowning in reverb soundscapes are like the end credits of some very suggestive mindfuck movie. To which you’ll desire to come back again and again.
The best Zoharum release since Dag Rosenqvist and Rutger Zuyderveldt collaboration. Not so distant, about five catalog numbers ago. Yet between them were also a few good things, which means that the label continues to maintain a high level.