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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

E.F Stoermer - Stoermeria Californica [Self Released - 2020]

Stoermeria Californica is a moodily lulling, yet at the same active example of ANW/textured noise– it features a fifty seven-minute track built around bubbling & shifting aquatic tones. It’s a release you can either have on in the background, or head-phoned up for ultimate detail.

The E.F Stoermer project proclaims it makes ‘microscopic static minimalism, lowercase noise wall’ which is a good enough idea of what we have here, but of course for this release with a decidedly watery focus. The Seattle based project is the work of highly talent noise maker Peter Keller( Geißt, Condo Horro, Dirac Sea, PTRKLLR, Kôan-Din, Unser Verhängnis). It has been active seemingly since 2017- release seven release thus far, named after Eugene F. Stoermer- a leading limnologist and researcher of diatoms. He also proposed the term Anthropcene as our current geological era.

The pro pressed CDR comes presented in a jewel case- this features monochrome artwork that seemingly takes in microscopic slides /pictures and related texts. Not sure of the numbers on this pressing- but as of writing the projects Bandcamp still has copies.

The single self-titled track here comes in a 57.55. And, as mentioned in my introduction, it's very much a release that offers up different experiences- depending on how you listen to it. If you play it in the background, or at a medium volume though speakers- it’s lulling & almost soothing in it’s constantly bubbling and dripping mesh of watery sound. In this setting it feels like you are sitting on the dank floor of a vast underground cave system, taking in the constant wet sounds occurring around you.
Or you can stick on headphones- and things become( of course) more detailed- as we find a blend of constant murky rub 'n' churn drone- weaved with layers of bubble, ripple, knock & trickle. In this setting, it feels like your either swimming by a small boat in a cave network, or shrunk down to microscope size -so you can knock & bob with in the microscopic liquid .

The make-up of the whole thing is wonderful nuanced- with you clearly been able to hear every element in good sonic clarity. The ‘wall’ is fairly persistent in its patterns- though when listened to closely I think there is play/ shift in the layers- with at points things seem to get more detailed/ busy- though his may just be trick of the 'wall'.


I’ve found where ever you drop down with any one of Keller’s projects, you are guaranteed of well-made, thoughtful & creative take on noise-making. And that’s exactly what we have here, but I’ll go further & say this stands as one of my favourite releases from him thus far. This is due to its effective dual listening options, and I’ve always been a sucker for water-based sound-scaping, and this most certainly one is of the great ones. Head here to pick up a copy.

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

Roger Batty
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