Kara - Air Creaks [Reason Art Records - 2016]Air Creaks is a truly monolithic, hope-crushing, and lengthy submersion in walled noise & deep bone drilling drone matter. Taking in three hours of pummelling sound, and spread over either two tapes, or as a digital download- this is a truly grueling, yet brutally entrancing experience.
Kara is another one of the projects from Russia based Sergey Pakhomov, of Train Cemetery, Bitum, Shishanote, and Leichen. And runner of the excellent Reason Art Records. Air Creaks is the first(and only) physical release from the project, it appeared at the tail end of 2016- so far the project has gone on to release another 5 or so digital releases, and each of these has been very lengthy works too.
The tracks are simply titled "Air Creaks no1" & "Air Creaks no2". And these are each split in two on the two C90 tapes, but of course appear as one long track as the digital download. The clear shelled cassettes feature labels on both sides of the tapes, and these take in type-writer like texts against a photocopy like layers of stark greyness.
The sleeves follow on the stark & bleak feel- with each one taking in seemingly identical monochrome landscape pictures, which once again have a grey photocopy like haze. And on the top of the front cover is a series of thin black parallel lines, plus minimal typewriter like texts. All in all, it’s a nicely stark & simple bit of packaging, that fits well the ‘walls’ within.
So first up we have "Air Creaks no1". This ‘wall’ is a fairly simplistic, yet no less entrancing blend of a continually tumbling rumble, which is edged by smaller jittering & snapping textures. The rumble has a meaty & earthy subterranean like feel to its low-end battering & compressed bass pummelling. And the smaller textures have a crisp, flitting, and weathered feel to them. The whole thing feels fairly firm & fixed through-out it’s considerable lengthy, though at points it does feel like it slows, then speeds up in pace, also at times one texture seemingly becomes more dominant. But I think in reality the whole thing is very much set in its structure & textures.
So moving onto the second tape in the set, and we, of course, have "Air Creaks no2". This ‘wall’ really deepens the more compressed bass, weighty, and low-end side of things. It brings together a thick bass bound pelting ‘n’ juddering texture, with layers of slurred rumble, crack, and split. All subtle weaved with micro pops ‘n’ snaps. It literally feels like your constantly tunneling on & on through tones of earth & bedrock, or maybe slowly sliding down through the plates of the earth it’s self. Once again this is firm in it’s structurally setting, though there does feel like there are slight changes of pace & layer priority- but I think this is down to a trick of the ‘wall’, and this is basically just a solidly fixed joinery into very weighty & heavy wall-matter.
Unlike Pakhomov’s work with Train Cemetery, where he creates often creative & detailed textured ‘walls’. The focus with Kara is more about building a monolithic, weighty & crushing sound. I can see Air Creaks appealing to those who enjoy more fixed & bass bound wall matter, also I could see this appealing to those who like more set & extreme doom too. As of writing this review the label still has copies left of the double tape set.Roger Batty