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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

I.corax - Kuilu [Aural Hypnox - 2014]

Kuilu is a live album from two piece Finish dark/ritual ambient project I.corax. The album originally appeared back in 2004 on Blue Sector- this 2014 CD reissue appears on Aural Hypnox, and comes in a edition of 500 copies.

I.corax is one of the lesser known project in the Aural Hypnox collective (taking in Halo Manash & Arktau Eos). The project started at some point towards the end of 1998, and brought together Anti Haapapuro & Jaakko Vanhala.

Kuilu takes in the first ever live recording made by the duo- it dates from 2nd of March 2002 at Kuilu  in Oulu, Finland. And the set takes in four tracks that run between six & thirteen minute mark- these are all nicely squearenced together to create one long morphing suite. Sound wise this is fairly looped based ritual ambience that has subtle electronica elements weaved in.

First up we have “The Face Of The Sun”, and this track is made up of a slowly building up mixture of stuck & looped elements.  These take in: nocturnal like electro hovers & string like drones, eerier circling scratchers ‘n’ fiddling tones, and locked down loops of weird voice that keep say “it’s alright” & issue battle like chants.

Track two comes in the form of “Menhir”, and this starts off bringing  together this central looped howling element, which is ebb with a shifting mixture of slicing & darkly spinning  electronics, & banks of mumble ritual chatter. At around the fourth minute a  slow skeletal like  electro beat structure is added into the track, but this never get too invasive as the pair in other very atmospherics & creepy subtle tone loops, taking in creaks, weird  nocturnal field recording detail, and more less consistently rhythmic ritual detail.

Track three is "Tephra", and this seems to slow the pace to more shadowy & slurred speed. The track brings together eerier & bone chilling ebbs of slow-mo ambience, on/off crunching crypt like loop, sprinklings of  thinned yet darkly sparkling electronic, and latter on smaller circling ’n’ dragging ritual textures

Finishing off proceedings we have the track “Animus Desertis”, and this brings together a  darkly spacey ‘n’ crawling synth element, with creepy swirls & darts of electronic noise detail,  with smaller ritual crunch & errier grain like textured loops.

I must say I was rather taken by Kuilu, as each of the tracks managed to be both rewarding & mysterious in their unfold. With the whole album capturing a wonderfully  distinctive nocturnal vibe which sits somewhere between ritual ambience & stripped back dark electronica.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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