Damien De Coene & Julien Skrobek - Quarantaine [Marbre Negre - 2020]Quarantaine pulls together elements of static texturing, layered & at points darting noise-craft, and improv- all making for a building-yet nicely unpredictable release that slips between genre tags. The release comes in the form of as a pre-pressed CDR, or a digital download- both options are available from the labels Bandcamp.
If you have even a passing interest in the textured noise/ walled noise underground Iím sure you be aware of both of the artists here- but those who donít know who there are hereís a bit of a run down. Damien De Coene is a Flanders, Belgium based artists having been working in the textured noise, bleak drone noise, and walled noise genres for the last two years or so. Even though he's fairly new to the scene his work has gained praise for itís terminal bleakness & often inventive take on largely more subtle & grim noise making. French man Julien Skrobek has been active for the last ten years or so, his work both dwells in & skates the walled noise/ textured noise scenes. He has at present around forty projects to his name, and is counted as one of the more creative/ progressive noise makers around.
The pro-pressed CDR is presented in a slim-line DVD case- this takes in a picture of several layers of worn & aged fabrics, with rock underneath- these have both moss, rot, and weathered look to them- also it looks like they may have been in the sea too. The release has an edition of twenty copies, and as mentioned the label has some copies left. Iíd say itís well worth picking this up in physical form- as itís a nicely presented bit of packaging with very much tone fitting artwork.
The release takes in just a single self-titled track that slides in just shy of the hour mark. The piece is decidedly tense & very building affair- which is based around, to begin with, very short snippets of low-key feedback, tape/ microphone hisses, jumpy static squiggles, slightly more sustained & higher pitch noise darts, and a very spaced-out single acoustic guitar note pick. As the track progresses these sonic events become longer & more detailed in their attack, and at times start to blend & bleed into the other tones. The piece has a rolling and seesaw feel- as if itís some strange largely non-organic monster thatís weaved with threads of moss, seaweed, and lichen- which is slowly rolling & growing in it's size. Over the tracks length the pair build up a highly captivating, eventful, and cleverly neached tapestry of building sound-craft, which is both skilful yet decidedly moody in itís unfold.
I was most excited when I saw Skrobek & De Coene were going to do this collaboration- but was unsure what to expect soundwise. With Quarantaine the pair have managed to bring together their considerable talents to create a wholly distinctive work, which nods back to each other's sonic identity- yet creates something original & unique in its own right. Let us hope there's another collab down the line, as this really does stand as one of this year's highlights.Roger Batty