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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

Nocturnal Emissions + PBK - Erosion of The Monolith [Nihilist - 2022]

Back in 2004, Nigel Ayers (Nocturnal Emissions) and Phillip B. Klingler (PBK), got together to collaborate- during this session, they created two hours’ worth of material. Some of it appeared on various releases over the next few years, but a portion was left aside. Mid 2021 rolled on, and Klingler decidedly to unearth this remaining portion and thus, Erosion of The Monolith was born- which is a contemporary example of exquisitely peculiar ambience. Both artists have been on my ‘watch-list’ for quite some time, so another collaboration between them is great news. 

From the very beginning, drones of various proportions and colours are evident throughout. They create a structure for a multitude of sonic elements to float upon. The distribution of power and calmness within this closed universe is equal: in every given second there’s always a bouquet of sonic material, on display. Little tokens of beauty put there with thought, various elements that are combined together to clear atmospheres, which are margined by the orgiastic synth’s tones. As a fine touch, various chunks of sound form a sort of audio glitter, a dark dust that penetrates the ears lustfully- with circular movements, droning like a digital dervish, creating a rotating experience. Cavernous at times, uplifting at others, like a perfect architectural design. Everything exists with a purpose herein, solid, turbulent, concrete, metallic, serene, geometric and perfect!  

Besides the obvious, there’s a certain sentimental narration in Erosion of The Monolith. Unfolding patterns take shape progressively, rhythm is employed and much more, but the rhythm is a primary element, even when it’s concealed. The way the album evolves is part of that narrative: harsh, determined and elegant. Creating stories without words, but no words needed. 

This is an album based on variation, even within the “strict” extremes of the genre. Atmospheric? Yes, it is. Minimal? Quite the opposing. Textured? Yes, with a tendency for mid frequencies. Beautiful? Most certainly. Transcending? yes, and more, it is complete! After all, serious care has been put at to hand to create this fine artistic electronic music. Put simply My antennas opened gloriously with Erosion of The Monolith. To check it out for yourself head here and purchase this vinyl release head here 

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

Karl Grümpe
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