John Watermann - Calcutta Gas Chamber [Cold Spring Records - 2006]Calcutta Gas Chamber is a rather satisfying and grim mix of environmental recordings, dark ambient, noise and electronica. As the title suggest this takes it influence and source sounds from the Calcutta Gas Chamber before it was shut down in the early 1990’s. This is a reissue of the album original released in 1993, here with new grim artwork and it’s also been remastered, for more ghastly depth of sound.
Watermann has managed to capture the sounds in an effective and grim manner, there’s all of manner of clanking, echoing, breathing, metallic settling and any other sound you can imaging would emulate from inside a Gas Chamber. Then he has stretchs, cuts and let hover like the smell of death, these noises into a terrifying and clastropic collection of tracks. That almost seem alive with the chocking, and struggling victims of the Gas Chamber, you can almost see their see 'fighting for breath' faces, before their eyes roll back in there heads and death ushers in. At times this comes across almost like a Macabre and death reeking version of Autechre before they went too way out, or maybe a deadly serious and more atmospheric aware version of Matmos. Other moments he investigate deep dark pits of droning ambience, that literal feel like your cartwheel though utter darkness, drop down and down, dank decay filled air filling your whole being.
This is my first experience for Watermanns work, and it certainly wont be my last, he perfectly balances texture & surprise of sound use with a keen ear for deeply unpleasant atmospherics. A dark and skin crawling unpleasant treat to hear samples and buy direct go here.Roger Batty