Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Vakhchav - In Embers (Stunned Records CD-R)


The follow up to Vakhchav's debut on Abandon Ship from way back (which reminds me... I still have some Abandon Ship tapes to finally get around to soon...), In Embers presents five tracks of Nickolas Mohanna and his guitar/electronics motions. Nice to see him teamed up with Stunned, as two rights always make a double right.

Maybe it's my fast fading memory banks though, but I seem to remember this unit being a little less contorted than this... eh, likely so. The important thing is that, whether it sounds like the Vakhchav of yore or not, the guy's still got it. The first number, "Morning Shroud" (nice doomy name there...), lays down some crunch quick, building static on static until the whole thing conjoins its rhythms into a real vault of hot air compression. Total destructo stuff here, with nice woeful lines hiding somewhere behind the shrapnel. Ok, I'm pretty certain that this is heavier than anything on that first one now... will have to go back and do a Venn diagram or something. "Teething" follows, starting from a similar rhythmic non-tone angle before Mohanna's guitar begins to materialize, wrangling some vastly distributed sonic material into a hovering hum that really takes off.

"For Who Has it Been Just a Thought" finds a similar approach yet again. While Mohanna certainly exhibits a real control and a full ability to "get there" with everything he does, it always seems a bit like a similar pace. Of course I'm gonna go ahead and bite my tongue now that the blissful synth zones have said track have faded out after a measly minute and a half... so much for similar pacings... not to mention the crunching sci-fi sounds that quickly follow on "Labyrinthula." Yowzers, space wars abound. The closing "The Drifter" is a long fuzzed journey down the waterfall, slow-mo sparks of yellow light and white water fumbling about. It's a lovely end to a disc that sees Mohanna continuing to subtly push the envelop, balancing sound and mood in careful, oppositional equilibrium. Lovely as always, and a nice package that continues with the body part overdoses of late.

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