‘Iktsuarpok’, the debut LP from Leipzig based Autumn of Paekward, is composed of four extended pieces of ambient drone, built on majestic synth washes over flourishing percussive textures. Evocative of the work of the legendary Florian Fricke and Popol Vuh, this record would find itself at home in 1970’s Germany.
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- Iktsuarpok by Autumn of Paekward
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There’s little information to unfurl the earthy ambient mysteries of ‘Iktsuarpok’ with. Self-described as “a molecule of nothing inside of nothing at all”, Autumn of Paekward seems to be the project of one singular person, performing toward the more droning side of Deep Distance’s esoteric spectrum. While this record is washed with synth machinery that could make it sound cold and technical, it’s anything but neutral: not only is this record indebted to the eternal naturalism of New Age, it also has harshness, rhythm and humanity built in -- all things it suggests exist in nature.
On opener “Elevereaux”, Autumn of Paekward lays down the law for his rudiments of drone: long, sustained washes, in this case on a groaning organ, coupled with breathy feedback to suggest the layers evident in ecosystems. The piece ascends in volume and AoP’s stamina depletes none; as it hits its logical conclusion, it suddenly finds itself locked in with a beat. It’s somewhat reminiscent of Stara Rzeka’s genre multitudes -- this is a rare record that can integrate old-school IDM into an impervious soundscape, all without embarrassing itself.
“Nybunel” offers some respite from the longform tracks with a bit of supplementary and barely modulated drone that reaches for the same intensity in a compressed time period. After that, the record offers us the titanic combo of “Zbornak” and “Petriblo”, two dynamic ambient pieces that toy with melodie, bemusing vocal samples and clattering field recordings repurposed as rhythms. “Zbornak” is largely gentle, repressing its crescendo and fading background noise, but “Petriblo” ends the record with squelching voices and a momentary marching beat. AoP may be a subtle and intriguing composer, but hearing ‘Iktsuarpok’ unleashed is even better.
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