Laments by Gruth


Laments (Tormenta Electrica; CS/DL)

The sophomore effort from São Paulo-based Gruth (Juha Puuperä) is the latest tape Laments (released 7/31). Consisting of two lengthy tracks, one per side, with a running time at just about 50 minutes, Lament I is composed entirely of the processed violin of fellow Finnish collaborator KuJo. This pairing has developed a scintillating and haunting dramatic sense of minimal sound stage. A low grade drone with a diluted sawing away at the instrument’s strings sounds like a wet highway with cars buzzing by at a good clip rather than a virtuoso fine tuning. It lends a mystery to the initial overall hollowness. Poised at intervals there are sizzling waves of static, rolling/dissolving harmonies and what sounds like a ghostly, endless elevator shaft to nowhere.

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They may look like a smudge-stick has gotten too close, but they deploy a truly sweet sound, through the layers of electronic fodder and circumstance. There’s an ambient side to the depressed din, one that has an engine, or heart, depending on how you frame it. They refer to it as ‘neoclassical’ however it’s more a hybrid of cool minimal, light industrial, dark ambient and a sense of the forbidden – yet there are clear breaks where a meditative bridge keeps cracking through the delicate hardline surface. In this fusion of light and dark, the tension is plausible, corrosive on the edges and silky soft in the middle – it’s a unique yin/yang set-up.

On Lament II he’s blended found-sound field recordings from a Brazilian beach with the vaulted echo background of an Orthodox church. The slow climb of the synth drone backdrop emulates the in-situ experience, defining an ephemeral architecture. It’s got a chilling low-rise ambient timbre with minor watery and granular effects. The whole things sounds as if it’s capturing a form of melting metamorphosis of some sort actually. The volume increases into a deeper, more elongated space becoming increasingly hypnotic. I can’t help but grin when seeing the instruments played on this, “black arts, misanthropy & abhorrence.” Though it has it’s toes in the hallowed chambers of the mythical beyond, it never loses sight of its swirling musicality, laying down various painterly effects. That said, this track is far more repetitive as a whole than side one, lending to the goosebumpy, trance-inducing side effects. Oohhhmm….Ω

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