woensdag 18 juli 2012

review: Vatican Shadow

Vatican Shadow... I have to admit this act was not known to me for some time... even though quite some tapes were released. It was only with the vinyl release of the 'Kneel Before Religious Icon' album I took notice.

Behind Vatican Shadow is the same person who runs the Hospital Productions label... who is also the same person as Prurient and the same person who is involved in Cold Cave... among many more projects and bands...

Cold Cave... only when I thought about it I hear it in the 'Kneel Before Religious Icon' album... like with Cold Cave tracks the basis is a minimalistic and continuous rhythm... a loop going on from beginning to end... but different as with Cold Cave the layers on top of this are much darker... also there is no singing which makes Cold Cave rather pop minded...

Vatican Shadow is not pop minded at all... it is dark and haunting stuff... like neo-folk/dark folk done with electronics... making all sounding rather industrial... the minimal raw rhythms and the dark, often heroic sounding melodies on top of it... marching tunes in a way...

But... at times it has this techno touch in a weird way... not your everyday trendy club techno... no much more off radar dark and raw techno played at some obscure party in an abandoned bunker... the hypnotic aspect is there... the minimalism works trance indulging... just like good techno does...

So yes I was more then happy with this vinyl... so I also bought the other two vinyls... as recently two 12"s came out... the first one with the title 'Iraqi Praetorian Guard'... featuring two dark ambient tracks which are okay but did not get me as jumpy as the album did... on the flip side a techno remix (!!)... so I was curious about that for sure... too bad this remix does not add anything at all... even worse... it kills the vibe of the track completely... the simple and not raw enough beats leave no space for the melodic part... this is not a track I would play as dj nor would like to dance to...

Maybe Vatican Shadow thought the same thing... who knows? Anyway, the 'September Cell' 12" just hits the right spot... this is Vatican Shadow as on the album BUT with spiced up rhythms that are less industrial sounding... more typical electronic but not simple techno beats... it has just the right balance between rawness and... and what? Dancefloor sensibility? Maybe... but without being commercial...

It refers to Autechre and Aphex Twin from with an industrial / dark ambient point of view... and maybe even adventurous dubstep fans might like it... I look forward to further productions of Vatican Shadow if this is the way the music is going and growing...

Here is the complete A side of the 'September Cell' 12"... so both tracks which are one piece anyway...

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