Northcore — Desatero
(Spotted Peccary SPM-2101, 2012, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01Northcore is the London based duo of Carl Gibbons and Jana Tillotson. Their music combines floating ambient electronics along with what would be more typically called sequenced electronica (think recent Tangerine Dream for a reference), along with acoustic instrumentation (including some ethnic sounds like didgeridoo, kalimba, wooden flutes, gongs, bells, drums, often heavily processed), recorded sound loops, spoken bits, processed voices and more. This all comes together in a way that sets a somewhat dark, mysterious and ancient tone to the proceedings. For example, the chanting on "Nocturne" overlaid on synths, hand percussion, and heavy studio ambience puts the listener back 2000 years while propelling into completely unheard realms. On "Oxygen" one hears squeaks and electronic bleeps meeting stark melodic simplicity with an almost gothic foundation, vaguely reminiscent of some of Dead Can Dance's work. The voices permeate many of the tracks here, and they are always treated and prepared differently, as are the floating ambient backdrops, studio whirling and dissonance, which keeps this interesting from the beginning until the very last note fades away. There are surprises at every turn along the way, with startling bursts of almost psychedelic grandeur meeting passages of glowing introspective surrealism. All taken, this is an outstanding release that will elicit many replays.
Related artist(s): Northcore
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