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CD Feature/ Nihil Communication: "We are violent"

img  Tobias

When musicians from the outside triy entering the labyrinthine hallways of Dark Ambient, they mostly end up doing too much. Like few others, the genre relies on the artistry of minimal gestures, preferring insinuation above concretion. It's as if you're in a place of refuge, marvelling at a bizarre world of wonder, while hiding from forces outside you control – if you start moving, you're going to get caught. Andre Custodio, however, is an exception.


In fact, his work under the „Nihil Communication“ moniker is anything but ordinary for several reasons: First of all, Custodio is a trained Drummer. For „We Are Violent“, he has wiped out any trace of rhythm and groove and replaced it with the pulse of filter modulations. Even considering that his percussive endeavours have always had a textural flair to them, this is a remarkable act of self-erradication.


Secondly, his previous experiences in an experimental improvisational field and his ties to Rent Romus' Edgetone Records are setting expectations for a high Jazz factor. It fails to materialise here, however. Some of the chafing and scraping metal noises piercing the claustrophobically dense drones sound very concrete and tangible, but they never create the illusion of an ensemble setting. „We are Violent“ is the product of lonely nights in front of a laptop, not the destillate of ominous jam sessions in some decripit basement.


Nihil Communication, therefore, seems like an appropriate title for a project which sees Andre Custodio hide from the world completely, venting his fears without providing all too many clues and explanations. „When you see for yourself the absurdity of your search, the whole culture is reduced to ashes inside you“, reads a Krishnamurti quote at the back of the inlay, but its message is as implicit and subliminal as most of the music – there are no easy answers here.


While one should expect the ongoing seach of „We are violent“ to lead to increased enlightenment, contours are instead turning ever more opaque as the album progresses. While the opening pieces, often made up of a mere two to three layers and using what seems to be the soft conclusion of ferocious feedback storms - still filled with adrenalin and anger yet somehow lifted to a plane of rest – have a strong physical quality to it, all material ties are severed in the hollow structures of „Sea of Ideology“'s subterrestrial bluster rising from the caves of hell.


After that, there is only emptiness. To sit through the nine minutes of closer „End Dialogue“ is a test of courage even for the initiated, its rumbling and resonating metall reverberations opening up black holes of infinite proportions. Sincecompleting „We are Violent“, Custodio has ended his involvement in experimental electronics, turning towards session work again. Maybe the demons were finally exorcised.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Andre Custodio
Homepage: Edgetone Records

Article in serie

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1 Dark Ambient Special 1
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16 CD Feature/ Nihil Communication: "We are violent"
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