Friday, December 23, 2016

REVIEW - LES HOMMES-CHIENS/ACTUARY - LE VIDE MEDITATIF - CASSETTE

LES HOMMES-CHIENS/ACTUARY - LE VIDE MEDITATIF - CASSETTE
G.B.S. RECORDS/GBS021
DARK AMBIENT/EXPERIMENTAL SOUNDSCAPES/HARSH NOISE
ON DARK BLUE CASSETTE WITH PRINTED STICKER LABELS 
ON BOTH SIDES.



SIDE A.) LES HOMMES-CHIENS:

I.) MEDITATION AU CENTRE DE L'OEIL ROUGE:
Ok, So on the A side of this split we have the extended ambient workings of 
LES HOMMES-CHIENS. This single track is my personal introduction to the project 
so I had no real way of knowing what to expect 100%, But I had a good idea that 
it might likely be something very dark and very slow since it was paired with 
horrific Death Noise/Industrial act ACTUARY...and I was surely right. Lone 
contribution, "Meditation Au Centre De L'oeil Rougue" (Which translates to 
English as: "Meditation In The Center Of The Red Eye.") Or at least as far 
as I could dig up that should be at the very least roughly accurate. If so,
Then that would explain why it sounds as surreal and eerie as the cover art 
and layout suggests. (*On that note, I couldn't find a proper translation of 
the album title but I did discover that LES HOMMES-CHIENS appears to translate 
to "The Dogs" in English.*) Anyways...As we first embark on our psychedelic 
nightmare and transcend into the red we experience deep synth strings churning
out a muffled slow motion dirge. Hazy atmospheres build as windswept textures
gather around cosmic signals and wavering drones. Suspenseful bass rhythms come
as a minimal mid-tempo thump that pumps like a beating heart. Synth saws moan
and linger in reverb laced strokes that paint strange and wondrous images 
within the center of the minds eye. Although this sounds isolated, Cold, And
empty...There is a certain warmth to the deeper notes and tones. Like flickering
flames to keep us alive in a barren environment during the harshest of winters.
On that note...This could serve as a successful alternative soundtrack to certain
scenes of John Carpenter's version of "The Thing." It seems I was pretty dead on
in my initial judgment of what to possibly expect from LES HOMMES-CHIENS here. I
don't always nail it but when I do I feel a little proud of myself. Eventually 
everything here seems to warp into a spinning vortex of emptiness. A void of
endless solitude. A dark and resonant tempest where time seems to stand still
or in a state near suspended animation. The sound is immense, Barren, Gnawing
and powerful. LES HOMMES-CHIENS takes the standard Dark Ambient sound and 
meticulously expands upon the subtle textures that can greatly enhance an
album for the listener. This is the type of sound I'd expect to hear on a
Cryo Chamber release. Desert Rock guitars can be heard in the distance as
caustic static blasts, Bellowing drones, And Space Noise experimentation
are heard far off in the distance. So many vague patterns, Changes and
movements can really add a lot, For example, Cinematic pacing is a key
element to a successful Ambient piece (At least in my opinion) And this
is strongly present here. Composition and timing are excellent and the
way LES HOMMES-CHIENS weaves it all together is close to flawless. 
Mournful and foreboding themes play on misanthropic winds. Ghastly passages 
filled with haunting sub-orchestral melody shine through the murk towards 
the end and carry with them a sense of anxious restlessness. Lead guitars
fill the role of wailing wraiths as spectral melodies glide in seemingly
ignorant of the surrounding darkness. Steady tempos return and wind down
into a quiet meditative area. True music for seasoned hermits and wanderers 
alike.

SIDE B.) ACTUARY:

II.) FOR A SPELL / III.) PRESCRIPTION VOID / 
IV.) TERMINAL OUTRO:
On the other side of the void we have ACTUARY, Who I am very familiar with and quite
a fan of as well. ACTUARY craft blackened sonic ritualscapes in a manner all their
own. Decay, Degradation, Rust, Rot and withering. These are all words that come to
mind when thinking of past releases from ACTUARY. With "Le Vide Meditatif" We see
these dogs of darkness in a slightly different, But still fitting form. "For A Spell" 
slowly drags us away, Utilizing see-saw drone patterns in queasy waves, Otherworldly 
animal-like sounds, Chirps, And voices fill the air...Echoing in their peculiar tongues. 
High end signals drift and become electronic waves that wail and resonate in the upper 
atmosphere. This is the type of music that will cause the listener to ascend and drift 
off into the deepest recesses of the imagination. Synths pulse into rhythmic drones before 
being devoured by a raging static/feedback combo along with lead synthesizer notes that stretch 
into their own oblivion. Spoken samples offer dreary, Slurred and indecipherable conversation. 
Oscillators slowly put in work as they wander in various directions. There is a lot to be 
pulled in and lulled by. Trance inducing music that feels like it's slowly eating away at 
your very life force. Draining and leaving to drift endlessly in the rivers of the empty void 
beyond. Death meditations for true devotees. So obviously ACTUARY have taken a slightly more
surreal/psychedelic route on their contribution to this release, But in their case this has 
been a good thing. The direction goes perfectly with what is featured on the A side and also
manages to fit the bizarre surreal-horror vibe of the release as a whole. A great split is 
most often one featuring artists who perform complementary roles with one another, And that
is exactly what we have here. "Prescription Void" follows taking us into another hallucinogenic
soundscape of ritualistic LSD level madness. (Surrealists, Occultists and drug fiends take note,
This is a good one to plug in, Light-up, Crank loud and trip away to.) Ok so, powerful synth
drones wash over us. These have a semi-retro 80's vibe to them and invoke aspirations towards
exploration and mastery of cosmic secrets. A prescription void is exactly what it sounds like
we are in. A lo-fi technicolor nightmare trip that sends us slowly spiraling downward as synths
howl and heavy electronic drones buzz in distortion and rumble with a strong sub-bass pulse.
Phasers run slow as raspy blackened screams fill the void with venomous phrases and poisonous
negativity. Other drones hum and resonate like radiating chimes viewed/heard in a fevered or
dreamlike state. The soundtrack to the very fabrics of existence slowly unraveling as insanity
claims the throne to reign over you for all eternity. A deep and evocative listening experience 
on several varying levels. Minimal synths carry us into a drug fueled coma until, Finally, Our 
descent into madness ends with the grim and foreboding end piece, "Terminal Outro." Death comes on cold resonant wings. Thick ambient strands vibrate like slowly plucked bass strings as slow motion lead notes cling and drop as thick liquid pools. Humming mechanical motors create miniature quakes beneath our boots. Grinding rhythmic noise and phased out experimental noise pulses and signals join together to form a hazy choir of sci-fi chaos. Chirps, Bloops, Bleeps and beeps...Sirens,
Alerts and alarms. A multitude of electronic energies all surging in free-form weirdness within
the parameters of the piece. Bubbling electronics, Wet effects, Pedal drones, Oldschool sounding
synthesizers. You name it. ACTUARY will take over your mind like a parasite until you are nothing
but a stupefied shell. Sweet dreams.

A TRULY GREAT PAIRING. EXTENDED ISOLATIONIST SOUNDSCAPES TO TAKE YOU
PAST THE MOON AND BACK...OR MORE LIKELY, JUST LEAVE YOU THERE TO SUFFOCATE
IN THE INFINITE FROZEN REACHES OF SPACE:

8/10
-ABATTOIR-

www.hommes-chiens.bandcamp.com
www.actuarysound.com

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