S. Pakhomov - Insect Cult [Reason Art - 2017]Insect Cult is three CDR/digital download that brings together six half-an-hour tracks that blend together often very subtle textured noise & subdued simmer ambience. The release appeared last April on Russian label Reason Art Records- and as of the publication of this review the label still has physical copies.
S. Pakhomov is one of the projects of Sergey Pakomova, who will be most familiar to walled noise/textured noise fans for his other projects Train Cemetery, Leichen,Bitum & Kara. As far as I’m aware this is only the second physical release under the S. Pakhomv banner- the first was last year three C90 box set Cousteau- which saw Pakomova offering up a selection of lower case static & set ambient sound studies themed around the celebrated French diver, explorer, film-maker & Scientist Jacques Cousteau.
I’ll have to admit I approached Insect Cults with a certain amount of trepidation- you see while I ’ve enjoyed most of Mr. Pakomova work, I didn’t get on with the Cousteau set at tall, finding it lacking both substance & use of creative/ interesting textures. Thankfully I found Insect Cult a lot more focused, and for the most part consistent offering- effectively leading the listener through a subtle compelling sonic landscape that gently blends simple & soothing ambience with creative & at times alien sounding static texturing.
The releases packaging is worth a mention- each of the discs come in there own color paper slip sleeve- these each feature different color backdrop, disc one orange, disc two green, and disc three blue. Then over all three disc covers, you get the same pictures- on the front a microscope picture of a flies head, and on the back cover what looks like a fly/bee crossbreed over a circle of mystical shapes. All told, a nicely done job- though it would have been nice if there could have been some form of slipcase/ large sleeve to put all the discs in together.
Each of the tracks follow a similar blend of pared back ambience & static textures- I won’t detail all six here, but instead, select a few of my favorites. Each of the tracks here are named in number order- and the first I like to mention is "Track Two"- this sees the bringing together of hovering ‘n’ churning church organ-like sustain, with a tightly detailed mix of micro burrowing/ twitching antennae texture. The track had a wonderful brooding & sinisterly clinical feel to it, and if one shuts your eyes you can almost imaging large long-legged ants exploring the contours of your face. Another worthy mention comes in the form of "Track Four" which sees a warming constant rolling ambient drone, topped with a blend of very low purring tumbles, tiny feasting tones, and sudden fleeting darts- the whole track has a great feeling of warming wonder about it, and brought to mind mid-summer days watching bees flit in & out of heavy flowers heads. Lastly we have "Track Six", which returns to slight more darker territory- as we get a drift & sailing drone which has an almost aircraft-like quality to it, and around this we get a detailed map of circular pops, snaps, and micro shops- all ending the release in a mysterious through fairly dreamy manner.
With Insect Cult Pakhomv skillful creates a range of moods & images in one's mind- be it broodingly & strange, lush & detailed, or alien-yet-goldenly intriguing. This set will definitely appeal beyond just the HNW/ ANW/ Lowercase crowd- as there is much more going on here than just simple textured noise- so I’d say if you enjoy any form of subdued ambience, or subtle field recording type work then you’ll also enjoy what we have here.