The fantastic (and free! Free vinyl + art!) compilation that Baptists & Bootleggers have created is a thing of beauty. …Of the wolves is the name of the beautiful package (writings, artwork, a white vinyl, an EP) and five 8 minute tracks (all of them related somehow to Dante‘s Inferno) are a true trip for those who love their music dark, droning and mysterious.
Just what the doctor ordered.
Like the last transmissions from those lost cosmonauts the Soviets denied they ever existed, so are the ethereal sounds of Borland, with the aptly titled ‘Nightmares’. Electrical connections fail in a disturbing atmosphere where dread fills the air, uneasily guiding you with a sample, distorted voice. The echoed reverbs continue to create metallic creaks in a minimalistic atmosphere that yields an electronic beat. Experimental to say the least, possibly the strongest track in an already solid compilation.
Following suit are electronic atmospheres of Veí. Taking a cue from the expansive sounds of Aarktica, the droning sounds feel like barren wastelands. A silver desolation with not a soul on sight, just a gust of wind that envelops and carries you to parts hitherto unexplored. Half musique concrète, half found sounds manipulated through a thousand logic gates, ‘Decaying bodice’ is phenomenal.
Stagger‘s ‘& The Flaw’ is the equivalent of John Carpenter travelling in time, downing a port with Dante and rocking out the synth. Unnerving, full of dark atmospheres, it’s a gothic trip through the wilderness. It could be a dark, forgotten forest, or it could be an old building complex that has fell in disuse and no longer is inhabited by families, but by the echoes and memories of those long gone. A lone motored fan is still turning in the distance, the last heartbeats of a dead Estate that will fall into decay.
Crown the Wolf is the new name/persona of Dafydd Jones. ‘When the game is over, the king & the pawn go back in the same box’ is the ace title of this track, where a disembodied voice (emotionless, I might add) rants while a loud drone pans, sometimes drowning the voice. Disconcerting but strangely mesmerising.
Final track comes courtesy of Go Lebanon and they decided the abstract has dominated this compilation for far too long with an icy cold foot. So they go all Trojan Horse on us, disguise as ambient for a while and then ‘Ishtar Y Tammuz’ shows its real face. Its crunching, doom face. It could feel like a safe harbour in this sea of ambient pieces, but sometimes, the sanctuary you look for is the hell you deserved. A good swansong.
There’s a little outro, a ghostly cherry on top of the compilation. If the otherworldly sounds of the game S.t.a.l.k.e.r. are your thing, if doom ambient your genre of choice or if you want to travel through the Outer Planes via some music, this album is a good choice. Heck, the package along is a definite keeper (and it’s free).
Tune in tomorrow where we will talk about Veí‘s EP included in this compilation. We liked it so much, we decided to give it its own post.