A Mighty Wind

From the Slovenian label Pharmafabrik Recordings we have the Bora Scura Reimagined (PFCD039) record…it’s a whole album based on field recordings of the bora, a deadly wind that devastates life, limb and architecture in areas around the Adriatic sea, with Slovenia itself being particularly vulnerable to it.

The bora is a so-called “katabatic” wind, which means it carries high-density air from a higher elevation, usually by travelling down a slope and assisted by the force of gravity. It’s not only cold, it’s also extremely forceful and speedy, and during the bora season (November to March) you can expect severe weather warnings in this part of the world, and often Slovenians have to stay indoors due to the perils of these life-threatening, building-flattening blasts. Electric pylons collapse, public buildings close, trees are uprooted, heavy objects hurtle through the air, and traffic is thrown into chaos when these bastards of the air get up to their preferred speed of 100 km per hour. Other areas around the Mediterranean and Black Sea may get their share of this windy horror, but with the hapless Slovenians the whole thing is clearly embedded in their culture, and they dread it with the certainty of a regularly visiting monster from the mountains.

Today’s record may feature a number of contributors, but one starting point was the record Bora Scura made by Simon Serc for this label in 2018, where his field recordings of this demonic puff from Hell were structured into ten named sections (alluding to pressure, stress, flux and similar forces) to bring home the full hideous truth of this icy fiend. Now, ten international sound artists (drawn from the fields of ambient, noise, drone, electronica and such) present their “reimagined” versions of these field recordings, creating this non-stop flurry of textured noise (each track segueing into the next) to present the full appalling majesty of nature’s harsh cruelty. Some of personal faves of Sound Projector, such as Vomir, Alexei Borisov, KK Null and Daniel Menche, plus there’s also the Australian ambient maestro Paul Schutze, Mark Spybey from Zoviet France, Sunao Inami from Japan, Max Corbacho from Spain, and more. Serc, who compiled the record and also contributes one track, doesn’t miss a trick when he points to climate change as a major “global catastrophe”, and reminds us that extreme weather conditions are now more common than ever, and getting worse, because of all the damage we’re continuing to wreak on the environment.

When you hear the utterly terrifying sounds on this record, so vivid and clear you can actually feel the lacerating cold like a steely blade of ice against your flesh, you’d have to be a very hard-hearted climate-change denier to disagree with this proposition. Atmospheric photographs on the digipak are by Klemen Bizjak and Henrik Serc. Wrap up warm and purchase immediately…from 6th April 2022.