Against The Compass

Fine piece of grim effects-drenched synth work on Lost Direction (KVITNU 58), which is a collaboration between Amantra and Submerged. Two lengthy explorations are required for this pair to express the current dismal state of the globe, or their own psychological outlook on said globe, equipped with titles that do much to articulate the uncertainty of this unwelcome state; there are references to disappearing and not being able to breathe, both common tropes in the nightmares of any honest alienated soul in the 21st century.

Amantra – also called Thierry Arnal – has a number of singles on Avalanche Recordings thanks to Justin Broadrick, who also remixed tracks for this protege. Submerged is Kurt Glock from Brooklyn, a drum and bass hero who founded the Ohm Resistance label and has associations with Bill Laswell. These names should clue you in to the powerful textures that will swamp the mind on Lost Direction – densely-knit, forceful, not an inch of free space or open atmosphere that would allow you to so much as draw breath. Particularly enjoyable is the slow-build towards an imminent disaster that characterises the structure of Track One – thick, layered and chaotic swipes on top of remorseless gloom. The second track likewise does much to further the bleak mood, with its thin and miserable surface, weighed heavily down by dark hymns of sorrow played on a malevolent synth.

Highly successful meld of pure abstract noise with melodic elements, abrasive surfaces, and much anti-social brooding. Great! From 3rd July 2018.

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