Nowa Ziemia/Echoes Of Yul – Holter/Fuse

[Reviewed by stark]

Drifting on an open sea, the Baltic most likely, so it is rather cold but not freezing here. The sky is grey, the water seems grey too and all you see are a few seagulls hunting for fish.

In Polish, Nowa Ziemia literally means “New Earth”, but it may as well stand for “New Land”. But since you’re drifting on Baltic, you know on which part of the globe you actually are, but in the smaller perspective. Being such a tiny point on the vast and open water makes it so you can’t really define your exact location and each “Ziemia” you see will certainly be “new land” to you. This is “Holter”, Nowa Ziemia’s half of the split. Based on guitar drones, raw and devoid of useless ornamentations. Subtly disturbing like the feeling of being alone on the open sea. “Holter” consists of four parts, of which two are around 15 minutes. The first one, “Żagiew” is but a single drone with delicately changing frequencies and minimal feedbacks. The aura of solitude is pretty overwhelming here, no doubt about that. The other “long” composition, called “Holter” adds a simple beat and short field recording samples (of wind blowing I suppose) to the equation, driving the listener into an arctic cold trance. The background drone seems slightly noisier, than the one in “Żagiew”, but it is still more anxious than aggressive.

Echoes Of Yul was already a guest in our magazine at least a couple of times. This over half an hour track reminds me of an atomic submarine slowly approaching your fragile lifeboat. Majestic and ominous yet beautiful and raising respect. The ultimate child of modern technology, the fruit of mankind’s ability to reach beyond the imaginable but at the same time symbolize self-destruction. “Fuse” is elegant craftmanship made of slowly intertwining textures having no unnecessary sounds. It’s a different approach to the guitar drone matter, less austere than the one of Nowa Ziemia. Probably more intelligible to a listener, although still distant from mainstream highways.

A very interesting split of two talented Polish acts. If you like demanding journeys into the unknown and you feel you’re a patient enough listener, this might be for you.

Nowa Ziemia/Echoes Of YulHolter/Fuse
Zoharum, ZOHAR 160-2
CD/Digital 2018

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