Relicuum - 2500 A.D [Lurker Bias - 2016]Relicuum is the more experimental/atmosphere focused walled noise side project of Serbian noise maker Nemanja Nikolić- most known for his prolific & anti establishment HNW project Dosis Letalis. 2500 A.D is the projects first release, and it appears as both a C47 , and a digital download on Lurker Bias
The theme/ focus of the project is Sci-fi, and in particular for this release terraforming & making ready mars for human inhabitation. The cover takes in a blue inked art work taking in a picture of a futuristic city from the sky. The release appeared back in early summer of last year, and as of writing the label still has copies of the C47 available.
The release takes in four tracks in all- two on each side of time, with shorter three-to-four minute intro & outro tracks sitting along side two nearing twenty minutes tracks.
First up on side one we have “Intro”- this is a moody & earth churning like blend of rumbling & slightly reverb edged droning/ boring low-ends, and dusty ’n’ scarping thinner jitters. The track is certainly effective in setting in ones mind the idea of excavation, though it’s more formal ‘wall-craft’ than the lion share of what’s on offer here.
Next up we have “Terraformation Of Mars I”- this brings together similar low-end drone back drop, with more scraping & rattling jitterings from the first track. But instead of feed them out in a set & uniformed manner, Nikolić creates these often subtle detailed waves & cluster of noise wall- really summoning up in ones mind images of huge yet aged drilling machines boring into the red planets surface to create a network of vast tunnels, for the epic city. The way the ‘wall’ keeps building thick then paring back, really creates the feeling that you are following first one drilling machine after another, and underneath it all there are very subtle hints a more brooding & moody drone based layers at play- this adds to the alien/ otherworldly vibe of the track.
Flipping over to side B, and first up we have “Terraformation Of Mars II”. And this brings together a blend of stark & buried drone cycles, with a topping of rattling, jittering & cluttering textures. Where “Terraformation Of Mars I” had a more defined feeling of shifting waves of sound, or distinct weaves of depth - this track feels a lot more hazed, bleakly murky & blurred in it’s feel. With the ‘wall’ having a more subtle ambient tinged to it’s make-up, yet it still just remains( to my ears) more HNW, than ANW. Though towards the last quarter we do get more wave like shifts in the ‘walls’ mass- with sweeping builds of blurred like ambient industrial texturing appearing. I can certainly appreciate the more hazed & blurred feel Nikolić is trying to create here, but sadly it just didn’t either feel as appealing or focus locking as the first side main wall. I think maybe it’s down to rather narrow & frankly bland textures he’s selected- the whole thing just seemed to wash over me, with none of the more interesting nuances of the first Terraformation track. Also the ambient element stays fairly pared back & buried though-out, and I wondered if this had become more defined it might have pulled me in more.
Lastly up on side B we have “Outro”, and this focuses in a weave of blunt & rolling low-end, and more transparent/ thinner jittering drill like textures. This is much more interesting than the last track, as the mix of consistent rolling low-end, and the less defined patterns really pull you in, as you mind tries to chart the jitters true shape. While the low-end is bleakly enchanting with it’s blunt grind. It really is such a pity that’s it’s over in three & half minutes, as I could have easily sat through double/ triple that length.
So in conclusion it’s nice to see Nikolić attempting something different with both the theme & type of ‘wall’ he’s building with this project. And for a large part of the release I enjoyed what he was creating here. I just felt that the 2nd Terraformation Of Mars track lacked entrancement & flare of the other tracks, meaning I came away from 2500 A.D feeling a little split on my feelings towards the release. Let hope next the Relicuum release has more consistency, as there is certainly is promise here, and a lot of possibilities for great-ness blending a sci-fi themes & walled-noise. Roger Batty