Thursday, 27 June 2013

THE FEAR (promotional copy)

Band: WACH
Title: The Fear
Format: A CDr promotional release of "The Fear" issued for review purposes to online zines, etc.  The release comes with different cover art to the full release, and is housed inside a clear plastic wallet with a plain silver CDr disc.
Edition: Unknown

Track Listing:
01. Intro
02. The Fear
03. Chains
04. CD-Rom content: The Fear (video)

A quick update for what will prove to be the last post of June, and a welcome return to the pages of Honour and Darkness for the bastard offspring of Reverend Kim and Herr Insomnia - WACH.

The full release of "The Fear" was a thing of wonder and beauty, coming as it did in 4 different matt black digipaks each having a different coloured wax seal and different bonus tracks.  The full story can be found in Nazgul's post of 8th August 2009, with a supplementary later post covering the promotional DVD film of The Fear (reviewed 31 August 2012).

By dint of some diligent internet research (or by being a lazy son of a bitch, whatever you prefer), Nazgul has determined that the Heathen Harvest review of another copy of this promo actually tells you all you need to know, both about the musical content and the different in format between promo disc and the final version:

"Being a music reviewer is great! You get sent free promo copies of new releases! However, it also means that you get sent free *promo* copies of releases…and in the world of underground noise/ambient this means that you often miss out on some stunning pieces of limited packaging.   In its full form, Wach's "The Fear" follows the past standard of Israel’s T'an! Kaven!! Ash!!! label and comes in a sumptuous packaging.  Each of the four variant releases comes with a hand-made, coloured seal and a different bonus track in a matte-black casing (I get neither seal nor bonus track, such is the life of the free-loader that I no doubt am).  Not only this but you also get an accompaniment short film on DVD.  What more do you people want?! 

Yet, attractive as special casing is, it's the music that we must focus on.  Sadly, I can't review any of the bonus tracks available on the full CDs so I'm limited to talking about the three tracks on my promo copy.  Well, I say three tracks but it’s really all about title-track 'The Fear' as the cunningly titled, thirteen second 'Intro' and the looping Aphex Twin-isms of third track 'Chains' amount to the sum total of just over a minute of atmospheric noises that set the scene but little else. 'The Fear' itself is a nine minute exploration of various stereo-panning synth pads which supports some eerie WW2 radio/Morse Code interference and then gives way to Jean-Michel Jarre style sweeping electronics. And that's about the sum of it. 

It's pleasant enough, although that seems to negate the point of having a track called 'The Fear', but it's quite short for the focus of an entire release and it never really goes anywhere beyond the sounds that are outlined in the first few minutes. Never calm enough to be a drifting drone piece nor oppressive enough to be the dark ritualism that it clearly wants to be, the track is left to languish in a Limbo of its own making. On a longer release, backed up with stronger tracks, 'The Fear' would be an excellent interim piece before a chaotic finale but as it is it just fades out into forgetfulness. 

I feel a bit mean to be negative about this release as a lot of work's obviously gone into creating it but I can't justify the €16 price that TKA want for it.  This feels like it should be a prelude to a larger work; it's an EP and should be priced as such.  I cringe as I watch myself writing the words but impressive packaging just isn’t enough, I’m afraid."

Well of course this was an early experimental piece from WACH and on later releases - principally "Nordwand" and "Experimentum Solaris" - we see the style develop and evolve further.

The cover artwork for this promotional release is suitably abstract and different, and it's nice to finally have this safely in the clutches of the Castle library!

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