Thursday, 15 April 2010

EXPERIMENTUM SOLARIS




Band: WACH
Title: Experimentum Solaris
Format: CD in 6-panel digipak released in 2009 on the Old Europa Cafe label (Italy), catalogue reference OECD128. Recorded between September 2008 and April 2009. CD contains bonus video clip of track 05, 'Destroyer Of Worlds'.
Edition: Hand-numbered and limited to 100 copies

Track Listing:

01. Escape From Solaris 4.22
02. Difference 6.39
03. Where No Man Has Gone Before 6.12
04. Experimentum Solaris 5.40
05. Destroyer Of Worlds 5.24
06. 100110 5.36
07. Deconstructed 3.31
08. Sonata Absurdum 3.39
09. Nostromo 4.33
10. Isolation 3.55
11. Prophets Of Doom 7.40
Bonus video clip: Destroyer Of Worlds 4.26

As the Old Europa Cafe website (www.oldeuropacafe.com) nicely puts it, "WACH are back with their 3rd full-length album EXPERIMENTUM SOLARIS, an epic journey through eerie soundscapes, doomy drones and oppressive isolation. Following the long forgotten tale about Solaris, wandering at the limit of your conscious state, from the origin to the apocalypse. This is definitely an album that you can throw on and get completely lost in for 55 minutes. Eleven Songs - One Seamless Experience."

And one seamless experience it is to be sure, bringing all the unworldly and unsettling elements of preceding WACH releases into a new arena, outer space. Nazgul understands, following a little online digging, that there is an underpinning story to the release, based on the 1961 novel 'Solaris' written by StanisÅ‚aw Lem (1921–2006), a Polish science fiction writer, in which it imagines the ultimate inadequacy of communication between human and non-human species. In probing and examining the oceanic surface of the world named Solaris from a hovering research station the oblivious human scientists are, in turn, being studied by the sentient planet itself. In due course, Solaris probes for and examines the secret, guilty thoughts of the human beings scientifically who are analyzing it.

Solaris has the ability to manifest their secret, guilty concerns in human form, for each scientist to personally confront, while the self-aware planet studies their responses to its psychological experiments. Solaris is pervaded by a powerful, poetic sense of the physical remoteness of outer space. The sense of loneliness that this engenders is among Lem’s philosophic explorations of man’s anthropomorphic limitations.

Together with the Solaris theme, there are some interspersed samples from the 'Aliens' film (Ripley is heard in track 1, seeking clarification that 'they' are going out to exterminate the Alien species, not to study it and bring it back) and - as you've doubtless spotted - track 9 is 'Nostromo' (the name of the mining ship from the original Alien film). Taken as a whole, adventure at the outer limits is the order of the day!

Unusually - and most likely as this is a recent release - there is a fair amount of internet coverage of this release, so here are some random thoughts from other web-sites to give you a broad view of what the world at large felt about WACH's magnum opus from 2009:

"The techniques and elements used to articulate an apocalyptic scenario could be anticipated these days, fortunately Wach approached slightly different and picked different parts from the dark ambient genre and some additional portion from Post industrial opening the way to be not merely rhetoric and predictable like most bands in the genre but severely eloquent in painting the darkness with sound and style. Sophisticated organic drones will conform the nuclear system for the structuring of the general sound and main element of the atmospheric texture from the whole album, the drones vary from incandescent like textures to windy sections and tectonic tremors, all this conforming a whole arsenal of options that continuously mutates its form"

Heathen Harvest

Clear as crystal, eh?! Nazgul entreats you to try this one:

"Where the band's past musical focal point was Dark Ambient in combination with Drone, 'Experimentum Solaris' reveals another and/or additional alignment - abstract 'Space Ambient' - that reminds one in isolated moments of Stephen Parsick [Nazul's note: Stephen Parsick is a member of 'Ramp, a German band that excels at creating soundscapes of portentous moodiness. Parsick's solo work continues to pursue this ambition with remarkable results. Most of his releases are extremely limited edition items featuring distinctly unique packaging. They are intended to delight fans of extremely dark ambient music.]

'Experimentum Solaris' suggests consistent further development of WACH, [with] the protagonists Reverend Kim & Herr Insomnia for the first time sampling dialogue in order to convey the context of this mesmerizing 'soundtrack', that grips the listeners from the first to the last second. Whoever would like to understand and/or grasp WACH's "Experimentum Solaris" really must commit to several complete listens of the album.

Conclusion - WACH present a bright light with 'Experimentum Solaris', that through complexity, density intensity & tension convinces the listener that this is already one of the significant releases of 2010 – my absolute recommendation!"

That, I think, is a bit clearer!

There is also this thought, from the Zero Credibility site (www.wp.vondur.net)

"This one fell on me unexpectedly. The man who delivers music to me recommended it, i dug into interweb to investigate and found out that this one is quite a peculiar project. So I've bought this CD. This is quite solid dark ambient release with space-industrial theme. Track titles like “Nostromo” or “Destroyer of Worlds” might give you a hint what kind of theme this ambient is."

So on the whole, I think the online review sites liked it, and so does Nazgul. It is somewhat different to the other WACH releases in that it uses space and silence to feed the imagination of the listener rather than trying to find the right 'effect' to fill the void, and it all the better for that as a long, ambient piece of music.

The digipak is very nicely presented in a run of just 100 copies (Nazgul's is #5, and has been signed by both Herr Insomnia and Reverend Kim on an inside panel). It also contains the short video clip for 'Destroyer Of Worlds' - a dark and sparsely filled video it must be said, presumably echoing the endless blackness of infinite space, completely with a shadowy blue craft spotted at the beginning and end.

A well crafted and critically acclaimed release, long may WACH reign over us.

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