Michael Bonaventure | In Tenebris Ratione Organi
Eighth Tower Records (CD/DL)
Be forewarned, you are stepping into something from the deepest of shadows on this new release from Michael Bonaventure. The composer, based between Edinburgh and Amsterdam has brought you his take on dark nu-chamber music if ever whether there was. From the absorbing drone of a stalactite high church organ to the waft of phantasmagoria, In Tenebris Ratione Organi is timeless and haunting. As the presser says:
The organ: in popular association, both the ‘God Instrument’ and the ‘Devil Instrument’, a purveyor of myriad densities and shades of massed tone, elemental fire and inexhaustible air, capable of inspiring wonder, awe, profound mystery and sinister darkness.
The title work is a rouse for the jangling spirits inhabiting this spacious in-between, offering its own rarified, regenerating acoustic dialect. The record really opens up on Galactic Weed, that puts you below the depths aboard a submarine with an active scanner. The drone when paired with these effects in the form of beeps and murky echo, transports the listener to another world, harnessing an atmosphere of strange frequencies. Bonaventure offers plenty of barren open space, and a shifting pace that makes for a dynamic listening experience. Part of this production style uses fore/background as well as left and right output channels to best understand a sense of towering widescreen.
Incorporating voices as sampled effects, morphing into (and from) instruments somewhat similar to the squeezebox, folded and reformed on Morphodelic. It’s as playful as a ticking time bomb. Throughout he peppers the album with generous elements to play with the psyche, glassy bits that seem to release into space, whirring undertones, laser lights, as well as resilient (at times over-the-top) organ striations that glow, rise and separate into tendrils of the unknown.
As the listener navigates to the final two pieces: Giant Gold and Doom Animal the tones become a bit more relegated within a median gray area. There are moments of churning, and moments of flight, and an in-between industrial squeamishness, ad-nauseam, that is caught like a fly in a spiderweb, dangling, jiggly, terrified. This is very much a longplayer, and if you want to be completely en-shrouded within this world I highly recommend sticking with this for the entire 75 or so minutes, he’ll sorta take you to his own (in tongues) church.