Dark fir woods and weird pentagram-esque runes on the cover: How can the contents of this album not be a clichéd, possibly black-metal influenced rendition of the idiotic “stay true to the soil” creed? Well, Alexander Marco has succeeded in tricking us all. His music on this album under the Chaotalion moniker is a vast expanse of breathing, pulsating ambient dreamscapes, cleverly evoking certain black metal genre elements, but totally eliding its ideology.

Marco uses guitar and electronics to create the music on this album, but his textural approach owes a good deal to his work with not-so-musical sounds. A regular participant in the Noise Factory sessions hosted by Y-Ton-G, Marco is also schooled in musique concrète and assemblage of found sounds, and this rather constructivist approach gives this release a refreshingly sober, clear, kitsch-free touch. Actually, the album, with all its packaging and teutonic titles, might well be a conceptual ‘joke’ on certain ‘black’ aesthetics, but the music is too well-crafted to allow for an easy interpretation as a simple parody.

File under: ambient

ACU 1004

factory-pressed CD in cardboard sleeve

Released in 2015

unlimited edition

price: 7.00 EUR (excl. postage)

All Soundscapes and Guitars by Alexander Marco. Recorded at Ahab´s Kitchen II. Track 6 recorded at KPSL. Mixed at Zimmer 75. Mastered by Torben Aschmons. Photos & Logo by Alexander Marco

Also available here: http://www.discogs.com/seller/dependenz?sort=price&sort_order=asc&q=attenuation+circuit&st



Attenuation Circuit Records have been rumbling around for a while. It’s mindblowing how much effort Sascha puts up into his releases, shows, tours, and his activism on the contemporary avant-garde scene skyrocketed the label to the top. It’s no wonder why this is the case considering the number of releases Attenuation Circuit has managed to publish in previous years. The numbers speak for themselves. Tannenholdrauch by Chaotalion is just a tiny particle in the label’s vast universe, but the significant gear on the modern dark ambient scene. The album comprises of nine cleverly layered dark ambient numbers that burst with eerie atmospherics. These eerie atmospherics consist of a wide array of spacey sounds, subtle synthetic drones, occasional guitar experimentations, and delicate non-organic noises. Chaotalion uses calm tones as overtures for his compositions, perpetuated by simplistic ambient keys. The situation becomes complex when the artist includes the mentioned elements to enhance the overall listening experience. The transitions between monotone and polytone sequences are nicely composed, so Tannenholdrauch keeps attention thought complete sessions. There’s a certain accentuation of composite darkness showcased through loads of assorted half-tones. However, Chaotalion maintains a dosage of melody that sounds intentionally odd, but pleasant to the listening apparatus. The artist has also included pulsing sequences at some points to retain listeners’ attention during the exhausting monotone segments. Still, these monotone segments are incorporated to maintain a dark, depressive, obscure ambiance that lurks around throughout the complete album. If that was the intention of the Chaotalion, than the artist unquestionably nailed in his intent to depict macabre imagery through Tannenholdrauch. The album comes with minimalistic photography of the woods, characteristic for depressive black metal bands, and it includes stylized pentagram logo, which serves as a Chaotalion’s symbol. Tannenholdrauch carries the dosage of depressiveness characteristic for the vast majority of dark ambient works, but this particular one provides a more eerie atmosphere than the other artists.




Chaotalion Tannenholzrauch kleintitel und covergestaltung sind vermutet das, was wohl zuallererst für hinweise auf den musikalischen inhalt herangezogen wird bzw. anlass zu ebensolchen spekulationen gibt. und die landen im vorliegenden fall dann wohl eher beim dark-neofolk oder black metal (zumindest sofern den spekulierenden attenuation circuit als label nichts sagen sollte), als bei den vielschichtigen drones, die chaotalion hier mit „tannenholzrauch“ abliefert.

und dieser tannenholzrauch ist dicht: schichten aus gitarren, fieldrecordings und nicht näher spezifizierbaren anderen elementen scheinen eine art von sich stetig verändernden loops zu bilden, jeder mit seiner ganz eigenen vitalität und farbe, paradoxerweise statisch und im dauernden fluss zugleich. in einer mischung, die einzelne zwar in den vordergrund zu stellen vermag, deren myriaden von gefolgschaftern, zunächst nur als reine hintergrundsoundscapes erscheinend, aber schon bald wie die tierstimmen im nächtlichen wald immer unterscheidbarer werden lässt. von der unbestimmten summe zur identität im zusammenklang, je tiefer sich die höhrer einlassen. mit geräuschhaft-rituellen momenten, mit fast wie ein irgendwie klerikal inspirierter choral klingen. mit stücken, die, glaubt man der abfolge der titelnamen, eine art geschichte zu erzählen scheinen. eine, deren ursprung in den wäldern auf dem cover liegen könnte, überliefert abseits der bekannten pfade, versteckt.

die intensive mischung der einzelelemente und ihre bewegliche dynamik gönnen fast keine verschnaufpause; und wenn auch stück #6, „abendberg“ ein wenig diese rolle übernimmt, dann nur, um in das darauffolgende loopschichtmonster „endloser tempel“ überzuleiten, dessen ebenso endloser mantra die vorbereitung auf die abschliessenden „tannenholzrauch iv“ und „tannenholzrauch v“ ist; beide stücke wie schon die ebenfalls durchnummerierten namensvettern zuvor von oszillierenden satteliten geprägt, die den kern aus gitarren etc. in einer geschwindigkeit umkreisen, die in einem verfühererischen kontrast zu dessen eigentlich dronig / ambienten statik steht. die im abschluss, mit „tannenholzrauch v“ besondere schwere gewinnt. sehr empfohlen. punkt.

schöne grüße



A bunch of new releases on Attenuation Circuit and the first is by Chaotalion, which is the musical project of Alexander Marco, and who has managed to make his release look like a metal one, with all the right cliché’s. I don't think I heard of Marco before. He plays guitar on this release, along with 'soundscapes', which I assume are electronics and field recordings alike. There are nine pieces here, and the total length is sixty-seven minutes, which means most of these pieces are quite lengthy. I was thinking: maybe a bit too long in the end, even when I quite enjoyed the music. It starts off on the wrong foot for me, with the first part of the title piece, which is quite a howling guitar exercise with lots of sound effects and indeed some sort of metal. From the fourth track, 'Höhle' onward the sound of the guitar disappears, or rather becomes less obvious and the pieces seem to dwell more on sound effects, field recordings, voices maybe and lead up to dark, mysterious ambient, rumbling from the below the surface of the earth, with monks chanting from the temple of doom in 'Endloser Tempel'. When the guitar lays down another carpet of distorted drones it seems to be better incorporated in the piece itself, coming with all the other sounds Chaotalion has to offer. It could have been lost two pieces, at the beginning I would think, and it would have been a somewhat stronger release, I think, but this is certainly something very good as well, for you lovers of dark ambient and industrial lite.

CHAOTALION Tannenholzrauch cover front
CHAOTALION Tannenholzrauch cover back
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