THOMAS KÖNER: Novaya Zemlya CD Touch
As with all releases from the mighty Touch label, you have to give yourself some free time to sit back and truly appreciate what’s on offer. I have struggled to find anything lacking quality in their back catalogue that I have encountered so far.
Thematically this is geographically based around the archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, the opening sounds of this album giving a feeling of being submerged in the freezing depths, as the rudder of a ship edges past the ice. As you come up for air there is an impression that atmosphere itself is utilised as natural drones; a heavy spatial awareness follows.
‘Novaya Zemlya’ follows this up with the impression that you are now a passenger on the journey this ship takes, sat in the depths of the engine room below. As an experience, this is somewhat eerie if truth be told, reminding me heavily of the debut album by Sleep Research Facility, ‘Nostromo’, which concentrated on the listener sat along for the ride in the bowels of this famous space vessel, as it made its course through the stars; this album of course lacks the threat of any malevolent alien life forms, but is no less oppressive along the way.
Without a doubt this is yet another quality release from this label that should appeal to a multitude of listeners out there and a name that dark ambient enthusiasts should seek out at all cost.