This is one of those CDs that I just happened to run across through a trade on the internet, so I figured what the hell. Before I went through with the trade, I tried to do a little research on the artist, but like a lot of other people on the Rephlex roster, there's just not a whole lot out there on him. Eventually, I found a small review calling the album moody and read an interview with Squarepusher in which he said that this was all he had been listening to lately, so decided that I'd go ahead and pull off the trade. Like I have been on several other occassions, I was very pleasantly surprised by the disc.
When first starting up the disc, you're greeted with an odd burst of noise that may just lead you to believe that your CD player is malfunctioning. Eventually, it stops and a very sinister tone starts up along with some odd sounding chimes that sound like they're chiming from a tower in the clouds. There are even few animal sounding noises scattered into the bleak soundscape before a simple, off-kilter drum track warbles and pulses into things. If you happened to be out stumbling around, lost in the frozen tundra, it would be the perfect soundtrack to your unenviable situation. Things go completely tonal for the start of the second track but again keep their haunting, stark qualities. The disc feels a little more like a Rephlex release with the addition of another contorted beat on the fourth track. There are some nice little blips laying down over it all and that menacing tone is there in the background again.
The fifth track takes several different vocal snippets and twirls them around into a swirling dervish of noise that doesn't sound too far off from something that Coil would do (as a couple of the first tracks did as well). The epic track on the disc (they're all untitled, as far as I can tell) is the 16-minute eighth excursion into dark washes and a deep dark, tribal-sounding drum pattern. After about six minutes, it drifts off for a moment before the drums again come back in and drudge the track along again. With six minutes left, it meanders off course again into their drifting tones.
Breaking the feel of the album a bit, Anibaldi throws in a super-repetitive kick-drum track with number 9. It slowly builds and slowly breaks down, but never really loses that dark edge that the rest of the album has. My only complaint is that it goes on a bit too long and after slowing down near the end, things again pick up on the next track with a super-distorted drum track that again reminds you you're on the Rephlex label. With harsh noises and more banging drums, it sounds like an old U-ziq or Aphex (ala Caustic Window) track. It's the final track on the disc (despite a silent 2-minute track after it) and it's quite an ending to an album that starts out quiet and moody, but ends on a crashing, abrasive track. Imagine that you're still walking on that desolate tundra, but now big chunks of sharp ice are flying out of the sky and hitting you. It's an interesting progression, and one that's actually kind of hard to do in one sitting (the disc clocks in at almost 75 minutes) because of the claustrophobic feel of the music. It's creepy and dark and perfect for being locked up in a winter storm.