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LP Feature/ Penjaga Insaf & Vestigial: "Of Earth And Of Fire”

img  Tobias
Split releases do not always bring together acts which were meant to meet. The title “Of Earth And Of Fire” already indicates that there are more than just a few nuances separating the two projects contributing to this 12inch Vinyl disc and Vestigial’s Peppe has gladly admitted that the connection between his output and Penjaga Insaf were was of a more or less indirect nature. And yet, these factors should not be held against this EP.

Despite all of their differences, Vestigial and Penjaga Insaf are both concerned with the darker sides of life and can be counted among the more adventurous acts in a genre, which not necessarily holds an experimental attitude in high esteem. Both, too, are still working on spreading their brand name in the scene, albeit at noticeably different tempos.

German duo Pemjaga Insaf has displayed a comfortably relaxed release policy, with their first and only album already dating back a full two years. “Tenangan”, the single long track which fills the entire A-Side here, surely serves to whet’s one appetite for more soon. The project’s members have collected diverse field recordings from a trip to Indonesia and moulded them into deep string arrangements and cavernous drones.

Agitated crowds, percussive noises and rhythmic passages, soft-looped gammelan melodies and the stoic ticking of what is either a bright drum or a traffic light in Jakarta add a spaceous concreteness to the otherwhise ominously otherworldly mood. A strongly threedimensional piece of picture music, whose occultism simmers on an agreably low flame.

The two tracks submitted by Vestigial are of a drastically more reduced nature. A reverbed choir, roaring like a singing ventilation shaft, a sharp metallic noise and a constantly recurring vocal sample are all he needs to create a confined space of concentrated listening in opener “summoned by panopticonian flames”. Thanks to its stripped-down character, all emphasis is on the hardly discernable mutations of its elements, which awards the piece a status of cold sound art. “The architect of ashes”, in comparison, tends more towards a deep collagescape, with various layers running circles underneath a dense organ point. The use of the same sample links both works and turns the latter into a sort of warm and sleepy echo of the former.

After one has spun this EP several times in a row, the two sides suddenly seem to react to and correspond with each other as well. The more one investigates these dark fields, the more it becomes apparent that they do not oppose, but rather compliment each other, with the synesthetic diashow of Panjaga Insaf falling into the hollow pit of Vestigial. Split releases do not always bring together completely aligned projects, but in this case these two acts were meant to meet after all.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Vestigial
Homepage: Loki Foundation

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