RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

CD Feature/ Formication: "Agnosia"

img  Tobias

It is with mixed emotions that we present this album as part of our first “Dark Ambient Special”. Not because of the quality of the music at hand here. Quite on the contrary, it deserves to be heard by anyone with an internet connection decent enough to allow him to download this work from the pages of the Dark Winter website for free or with enough spare cash to support the band by ordering it at the decidedly friendly price of $7.99.

What instead turns this into a difficult case is that it seems anything but fair to put any kind of stamp on this UK-based duo, which has by now developped a style both demanding and appropachable and which is made up of as many dark passages as it is of amicably experimental ones. For Formication, it has almost always been like this. “Pieces for a comdemned Piano” called for comparisons with John Cage, while “Redux” explored the possibilities of reworking tracks in a live environment, using certain parameters as starting points and taking them to wherever the moment seemed to dictate.

Quite a lot of the music on “Agnosia” seems to be based on a similar approach. What is most striking about this concise effort is its combination of tracks, which connect through ideas and shared context, rather than mood or texture. The details of these ideas remain undisclosed, however, and left to the listener to interpret. Consequently, objects which would otherwhise never meet are placed side-by-side, pieces develop according to rules outside of our immediate recognition, development can equal decomposition, tribal percussion takes on lead functionality and melody turns to rhythm.

In the three short pieces, which open “Agnosia”, this approach is most obvious. The otherworldy character of the music is offset by its scenic compactness, its morbid undertones softened by the whimsically stuttering, sympathetically broken grooves, which seem to walk through shardes of broken glass while holding a candle to disperse the growing darkness. As the album progresses, however, the claustrophobia intensifies, even as the dreamlike poetry of some moments increases.

It takes until the fourth track, in which gargantuan bass drones pressurise whatever’s left of the air around you, trampled triphop loops try climbing from their traumatised graves, shimmering synthesizer pads colour the sky in phantasmagoric timbres and an electronic bass guitar places black spots on a bleak canvas, that the album draws its audience in completely. After this horrific tour de force, the twelve minutes of the closing Berlin School of Electronic hommage soar off into the eternity of the cosmos on wings of muffled sequencer patterns and warm string sighs.

Formication are not allowing genre-definitions to interfere with this consciously unconscious approach. “Agnosia” remains sealed off from the putside world through highly personal filters. “Why the fuck aren't they headlining the festivals all over the planet?” much-respected Retinascan label founder Burkhard Kelin once asked with reference to Formication, but the answer is just as obvious: Because their music still seems to have been composed on a different planet and within the hermetic atmosphere of their livingroom at midnight. It is this complete disregard of formulistic demands, which makes them hard to categorise – but a true treasure for any Dark Ambient fan with a desire to try out something different for a change.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Formication
Homepage: Dark Winter Records

Article in serie

flag
1 Dark Ambient Special 1
Reviews, Interviews, Articles, Videos, MP3s: ...
2008-02-19
flag
2 Interview: Taphephobia
Ketil of Taphephobia was part ...
2008-02-18
flag
3 Interview: Tholen
Eisen has several projects going ...
2008-02-18
flag
4 Interview: Vestigial
The success of Vestigial's self-released ...
2008-02-18
flag
5 Artist Portrait: Andrea Marutti
Breathing problems: Marutti's pieces develop ...
2008-02-18
flag
6 Label Portrait: Reverse Alignment
Projects needs to develop: Running ...
2008-02-18
flag
8 CD Feature/ Formication: "Agnosia"
A consciously unconscious approach: Tribal ...
2008-02-18
flag
9 CD Feature/ Sinke Dus: "Akrasia"
A collection of unashamed dirges: ...
2008-02-18
flag
10 CD Feature/ Tholen: "Sternklang"
In the end, nothing has ...
2008-02-18
flag
11 CD Feature/ Steve Roach: "Immersion: Two"
Includes the inner cosmos: A ...
2008-02-18
flag
12 CD Feature/ Seetyca: "The Lake"
A responsive hence-and-forth between its ...
2008-02-18
flag
13 CD Feature/ Taphephobia: "Anomie"
Beyond horror: Every twist draws ...
2008-02-18
flag
14 CD Feature/ Nathan Youngblood: "Asunder"
A future point of reference: ...
2008-02-18
flag
15 CD Feature/ Protoplasmic Reversion: "Sunken Temples"
A texturally pure work: The ...
2008-02-18
flag
16 CD Feature/ Nihil Communication: "We are violent"
There are no easy answers ...
2008-02-18

Related articles

flag
Vital Weekly 615
Frans de Waard presents the ...
2008-02-22
flag
Dengue Fever: "Venus on Earth"
High-pitched and trilly: A slight ...
2008-02-21
flag
Net Feature/ Lucky Misu: "Intertwine"
Enough optimism to save a ...
2008-02-19
flag
CD Feature/ Dub Trio: "Another Sound Is Dying"
Dub elements pop up everywhere: ...
2008-02-19

Partner sites

ad