‘Rapalyea’ is the latest release on Shimmering Moods Records by ambient synthesizer soundscapers Bengalfuel. Conjuring futuristic landscapes of desolate and peaceful majesty over luxurious pads and layer happy production, the record simmers with restraint until the final piece, which culminates in a rage of melodic chaos and mechanical beats.

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Rapalyea by Bengalfuel
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7/10 Robin 16 June 2015

Onwards we march on our long mission to establish how exactly a mood can shimmer. One of this week’s releases on the canny ambient label comes from Bengalfuel, maker of especially loud and glorious noise. ‘Rapalyea’, their newest record, gets synth involved with distortion to create the feeling of a natural landscape dissolving in front of your very eyes, which by the end of the record will probably have rolled into the back of your head.

So yeah: did anyone call for a New Age version of Draconis? Bengalfuel’s foggy ambience is suffocatingly loud and seems hell-bent on making nature sound like one giant monolith -- no distinctions, just a huge moving ecosystem. Rapalyea uses found sound and compositional drone to the same effect, creating wide open spaces and then making them sound inhabitable, for whatever reason: rainstorm, avalanche, scary monsters. The synths don’t sound futurist: they sound like a manipulation of nature.

Bengalfuel’s sounds are some of the loudest I’ve heard this year in drone. As pointed out by a friend, it’s been a year for overwhelming ambient tremors, with Sarah Davachi making something of a punk’s Eliane Radigue record in Baron’s Court. This record, with its foggy, distanced yearning for the outside world, will sit comfortably with those who fell in love with Siavash Amini last year, or lean on the more intense side of Hibernate’s output.



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