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N.strahl.N/Metek

drowning devices

>This is not the first time that W. Loehr, also known as N.Strahl.N does collaborations, where he sends field recordings and unfinished compositions to someone else and receives the same in return. In this case its F. Nilsson, also known as Metek. The thematic approach here seems to be 'life under water', and more special the life inside a submarine. Both artists feel quite the same what the other wants and together they drum up five pieces that fit together quite well. The field recordings are difficult to pin down - but seem to me made in tunnels to get that reverb and that also keeps the sound 'outside', as recorded through a tube. To this they add their own electronics and sound effects. It starts out a bit noisy, but quite soon moves into a musical area where ambient, industrial, and microsound meet up. At times the amount of reverb used is a bit too much, but the claustrophobic nature of the music comes out quite well. Certainly when played through headphones this comes quite close. There is not much difference between the tracks that were finished by Metek or by N.Strahl.N, which might be a bit problematic - faceless perhaps - but together it makes quite a strong album. Something for the lovers of more present drone music, and those who love the Mystery Sea releases. (Vital)

>Welcome to your wet fate. These tracks drag you down into realms of utter blackness, 80.000 miles under the sea, despite the fact Jules Verne certainly would have never imagined such radiant darkness that this release emanates. Metek from Sweden and N.Strahl.N from Germany present here one of their collaborative works dealing with deep drones, manipulated and raw field recordings, abyssal loops and subliminal electronic treatments. They both worked with each other’s samples, which is, in my opinion, always a nice way to receive interesting collaborations. Muffled down screeches behind a thick veil of hum and looped beeps like from a rusty, archaic diving machine nail images of a journey to the grounds of an ocean right into your mind. This is your drowning device you are travelling in&ldots; The travel continues with some quieter stuff in track 2, featuring scraping crackles over metallic, distant and delayed mud. “Ambient 8” also seems to have some kind of harmony, even a hint of minimal melody stalking in the background. Later the mud disappears and makes place for ritual - like rhythm. Buzzes, machine hisses, clanks and scrapings make you feel somehow isolated in “Tvagning”. I looked for a translation for that Swedish term and found “ablution”. Yes, your brain gets an ablution... Anyway, this track also has a spoken word part in it. Something incomprehensible and I was very surprised, if not even shocked to hear a real human voice among all the scrap bashing. The last of the five tracks “Eiserne Reserve” (German for “Iron Reserve”) is driven by cloudy metallic ringing once again, while loops of electronics and scrap material give company. The drowning device still descends&ldots; in eternity. N.Strahl.N was indeed no unknown name to me, when I spun the disc the first time. He released tons of discs in the past, mostly on smaller CDr labels or by himself in very limited editions. On the other hand I wasn’t very fond of Metek. Never listened to anything yet, except for this release. As I mentioned before, the guys made other collaborations as well, but I never listened to them. Judging from this release I think they might be solid. Anyway, “Drowning Devices” is really good. These two men know how to evoke atmospheres of cold isolation. They fit perfectly together – as shown on the cover artwork, which is a picture of two men sitting in a submarine, they explore the realms of blackened textures of your own personal ocean, each time you listen to it. (Heathen Harvest)

 

 

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