False Mirror "SIGINT" CD
Sure, it took a hell of a lot of time before German sonic architect Tobias Hornberger, known as False Mirror, released a follow-up to his unforgettable epic installment "Derelict World". But all the good things are worth the wait. Although this sonic and visual miracle still deeply resonates, even after 8 years, it's time to dive deeply into "SIGINT". The album was released through US dark ambient connoisseurs Malignant Records at the end of July 2018 and the CD comes in a 6-panel digipak with an additional 12-page cryptographic manual. Stunning front cover image entitled as "Flying Front" is captured by Ralf Wendrich, while additional credits include Steve Jurvetson ("Nuclear Missile Silo" back cover), Zach Zurn ("Concrete texture" on the background), Eric Martin ("Blue Streak" texture) as well as Axel Baune, Dieter Trüstedt and Tarek Mansur for their sound contributions. The artist himself took care of conceptualization and design.
Focusing on the secret communication signals (SIGINT = Signals intelligence), a 65-minute album unfolds with "Perimeter", a 6-plus minutes long piece, which immediately sets uniquely immersing atmosphere False Mirror is known for. Enigmatic horizons, intangible cyber-tech beacons, magmatic drone hums, razor-sharp eruptions, intriguing reverberations, ear-tickling glimmers..., it's evident, False Mirror is back in full bloom. More, please!!! "Transmission" quiets the adventure a bit with the more monochromatic scenario, although craftily multi-dimensional, where perpetually buzzing stratum is pervaded by sinuously gliding and warmly evocative meridians. Another monstrous beauty! "Antenna", at 9:21 the longest track on "SIGINT", keeps firmly on mysteriously nuanced, yet serenely engulfing path with some additions of flute-infused vistas. Balmily prodigious exploration! "Trajectory" straightly shifts into tenebrously mindscaping spheres, where persistently traversing vertexes juxtapose with inconspicuously ascending choir-driven drone perplexes. Lachrymosely enveloping and spellbindingly transporting, what a voyage!!! And "Fallout" masterfully amplifies the climaxing infiniteness and unlocks the gates... "Corona" commingle hissy transcendental dissonances with poignantly narrative tides and glimpses of rumbling debris and quietly drifts into awe-inspiringly enveloping barren solitariness. Enter now the Pantheon of epic sonic milestones!!! "Leviathan", as indicated by its title, sound layering gets abundantly magnified. Tremendously monolithic drone billows continuously collide with other-worldly roaring spectacles. "Troposcatter" relieves the tension with infinitely rising and falling sheets coalesced with slowly percolating heavenly blankets and exquisitely sonorous moments of silence. "Aether" floats effortlessly towards magnificently panoramic ethereal sceneries while the closing shorter "Message" invites the listener to examine this track and find hidden navigation points, which might lead you with the help of cryptographic manual into decoding some concealed mysteries... If you are familiar with False Mirror soundworlds, then you should remember Tobias has offered such "bonus" also on his previous "Derelict World" album.
Although False Mirror's discography features since 2007 only four full-length albums (plus few live recordings and EP's in digital formats), Tobias Hornberger certainly belongs to the most crafted soundscapers within the ambient/dark ambient genre. "Derelict World" shifted him to the forefront back in 2010 and "SIGINT" only confirms this honor. Yeah, 8 years was a really long time, but with another magnum opus, everything is forgiven. Spectacularly rewarding journey awaits here, "SIGINT" is one of the undisputable pinnacles of 2018!!! Bravo and thank you, Tobias!!! And by the way, the first two albums by False Mirror, "Chronostatic Scenes" (May 2007, DataObscura) and "North" (November 2007, Thonar Records), are strongly recommended too!!!
Richard Gürtler (Oct 14, 2019, Bratislava, Slovakia)
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