- CD £8.49
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- homen053 / CD on Home Normal. Edition of 500 copies in four panel matte card pack. AKA Pillowdiver. CHEAP AS CHIPS!!
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- phasen by René Margraff
9/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 10 April 2014
Rene Margraff is perhaps better known under his alter egos Pillowdiver and Le Mepris, but this week he's using his real name for this beautiful CD of slow-drifting drones and textures on Home Normal. It's a complex sonic journey that mixes jarringly ominous tones with heavenly cushions of drone for a crackling, crumbling aesthetic that's not always completely comfortable despite no shortage of deep space bliss vibes in the mix.
Opener 'Blau Schwarz' is a good example, opening with droning synth melodies, a cracked, grimy noise scree soon emerges underneath, threatening to engulf the smooth celestial synth tones but never really overpowering them, just lending them a chaotic, haunting muscularity. There's almost a Japanese horror feel to the shuddering static interference which pervades this piece. If I came home late at night and opened my door and there was a little guy with a horse's head mask and a cape playing this on a synthesizer in my living room by candlelight with a detuned TV in the corner spewing out static and flickering light, well, I'd shit myself.
Another notable moment is 'Rain (for Jeff Hannemann)', whose opening thunderclaps sound just like the opening to 'Raining Blood'. This rain soon disintegrates into a fluttering, distorted tape mess that wibbles and decays nastily over some dentist drill drones. It's what Jeff would've wanted. Overall, it's not quite relaxing, it's not quite disturbing, but it's that tension between the hedonistic and self-sabotaging sides of Margraff's personality that comes through here, whether his drones are sleepy and sinister or harsh and ecstatic. Sometimes challenging but consistently interesting cerebral ambient business basically.
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