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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

Gaap Kvlt - Jinn [Zoharum - 2016]

Here we have "Jinn", the second album from dark ambient project Gaap Kvlt. This CD was released in 2016 on Polish  experimental mixed genre label Zoharum

The sound of the music is characteristic of Zoharum output I've heard thus far, a melancholic, windswept soundscape reflecting the crumbling beauty of ancient things, the whiplash of time's neverending transformation.  With drowned ghosts of melodies, acqueous pads and glimmering strings, the timbres are colorful and smooth.  The texture of the sound is luminous, clear and pleasant, a three dimensional glow, a finely sanded rushing of air.  The tone is haunted, but one could take solace in the way the music is so brazenly, soulfully sad, with its poignant apocalyptic finality.  It is music for admitting loneliness, for those who worship strength of emotion itself.

Gaap Kvlt occasionally departs several times from pure ambience for grim, magickal beat music.  The sluggish muffled techno of "Abu Kamal", with its snakey filtered stairsteps of resonance, is an early 90's acid record played at low speed.  This is not unlike Coil's heavily drugged forays into dance music.   The obliterated hardcore of "Prayer 8 (Death)" is a more ear pleasing version of the Ant Zen "rhythmic noise" sound, as perfected by Xotox and Hypnoskull.  In the more purely ambient pieces, there is still an underlying rhythmic pulse, a soothing repetition circling around a hinted sub bass accent, an army marching in the distance.

This loop driven style is not unlike early 90's groups like Archon Satani or Deutsch Nepal, quite possibly accomplished using the same vintage tape loop techniques, if the crackling warmth of the sound is any indication.  Thankfully, Gaap Kvlt steers clear of Satanic and Nazi themed cheese, tending closer to the ambiguity of labelmates Rapoon, or Lustmord's "The Place Where the Black Stars Hang".  The drifting, beatless pieces, in particular, are brimming with murmured mournful harmonies that amount to greater substance and musicality than one typically finds in the dark ambient genre.  "Prayer", "Bou Rattat" and "Peninsula" are beautiful, and beg to be replayed many times.

The album flow is ultimately interrupted by the presence of too many beat oriented pieces, which shatter the poetic, contemplative calm of the aforementioned tracks, otherwise suitable for reading or sleeping.  I love beat oriented electronic music, but find some of these plodding 4/4 tracks to be lacking in sonic detail ("Larache"), and the kind of expressive melodies that make the quieter tracks memorable.

I enjoyed this album quite a bit.  A tastefully gothic, historic beauty is emergent within its circular, undulating reverberations.  At times the album moves too quickly between gripping harshness and serene desolation, but its aesthetic and emotion are clearly stated.  A great deal of soul and memory is present in this recording.  I look forward to future work from this artist and label.

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

Josh Landry
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