Cymphonic & Vintage H "Post Mortem Investigations" CD
Talented Dutch ambient sculptor Stanley Swinkels returns with his third album, but this time teamed with Vintage H, who is no one else than his father Harry. What a challenge for both of them, because it's quite unique to witness this kind of collaboration involving two generations. And I can imagine it was not only challenging, but also very enjoyable for both of them.
The music of this duo is very refined and pleasant even if quite dark and also very tense with some dramatic turnovers. The album opens sharply with many voice samples, but soon it shifts into darker and distant regions with its deep soundscapes. From time to time some other voice samples show up and slowly fade away. Almost unrecognizably the opening piece overlaps into the next one. This is the second of 4 parts of "Post Mortem Investigations" entitled "Ethereal" while the first one was "Into The Void". "Ethereal" is colored by various chants, spoken words in French, bell or gong sounds, this must be a kind of transcendental experience. Cicadas, femme chants, sounds of dripping water are announcing the third part "Astral". Always very dark, almost scary like with Tibetan chants, village sounds, sharp metal sounds..., very industrial like sounding part. As mentioned by the authors, the first half, "Post Mortem Investigations", is guiding us through possible stages of near-death experience. That's how "Astral" sounds like, but the end of this piece is again more drifting with beautiful femme chants and sounds of water. The next one, "Return", keeps the tension of previous piece, again colored by various sonic experiments and samples, some of them sounding quite oddly. It's like having a close call... Fortunately, the sound of cracking wood in fire relieves the tension. Second half "Notturno" (parts 5-7) starts with beautifully drifting and immersing "Evening", a very blissful and tranquil voyage. "Night" is a bit more rough even if the cicadas show their acoustic talents to keep the mood more relaxing. The last piece features again some deeper and immersing washes with culminating tension spiced by various bird samples, "Awakening" is here...
Amazing work from this son & father duo that requires a very careful listening, but then it's fully rewarding, it's a dream-like state while awake...
Richard Gürtler (Jan 19, 2011, Bratislava, Slovakia)
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