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- V by KTL
9/10 Mike Staff review, 03 May 2012
Here's the fifth numbered album from Editions Mego dude and collaborator extraordinaire Peter Rehberg and the dark lord of rumbliness himself Stephen O'Malley. On this one they're both using modular synths and computers and O'Malley's doing some guitar and bass but for the most part it's low, rumbling ambience, dark and detailed without being twitchy, with throbbing boomy swells and soft mid-drones and flourishes, although in 'Study A' they both stick to computers to make a weird high pitched orchestra-tuning-up type sound. Most interestingly, on 'Phill 2' they team up with prolific and mercurial Icelander Johann Johannsson, who orchestrates some swooping, spooky strings to round out the drowsily rich synth textures and creaking industrial ambience for a long, tension-laden soundtracky centrepiece that reminds me of the drifting ambience on the third side of Motorpsycho & Stale Storlokken's recent 'Death Defying Unicorn' masterpiece, building with dramatic boomy brass and skittish swarms of violins courtesy of the City of Prague Philharmonic. In fact if you're into minimal atmospheric stuff the idea of a track with “(O'Malley/Rehberg/Johannsson)” next to its title in the liner notes should already have you reaching for the order button. There's impressive, dark, gliding textures all round but it's the epic grandeur of this track does kind of overshadow the rest of the record to some extent, and the minimal ambience and scary French vocal samples of 'Last Spring: A Prequel', which follows it, is fairly irritating and kind of feels like an afterthought, but if you overlook that one there's plenty to like here even if the Johannsson collab does kind of steal the show and earn the album its V out of V.
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