EARlabs - Larry Johnson (c) 2007
The title track of “The Castration” contains the troubling voice sample “please castrate me” and with this disturbing image we receive Ryu’s second virtual Dark Winter album following his previous and equally disquietingly titled release “The Depressed”.
While Dark Winter specializes in dense, beatless, sometimes noisy, dark ambient drones and occasional shadowy, electronic rhythms, there’s evidence of a more thought-provoking and noticeably more minimal direction in Ryu's newest contribution to the Dark Winter discography having the rather unsettling title of “The Castration”. Listening to “Feldmans on the Koryakhut”, “Walk Along the Cloud Mazeran, or “Mujyun (Contradiction)” will immediately reveal that there’s something exceptionally different here.
The initial two tracks "Schizo Voltaile Traqlzr" and "Marxisto et Incestr" illustrate well the more traditional experimental sounds that I’ve come to love - cold, shimmering electronics, noisy (but not too harsh) cacophony, and abstract rhythms. Included in the former are schizoid-like vocal rambling augmented by some equally psychotic sweeps of electric noise and, in the latter, fragmented percussion, twisted laughter, watery noise, and inharmonious piano samples.
With the arrival of “Feldmans on the Koryakhut”, a gloomy, minimal edginess emerges. Reversed sounds, haunting female voice samples, and a lingering background of grayish electronic pitter-patter all come together to allow an overriding melancholic ambiance to stretch out its aural fingers and pull the listener in. The title track begins with a murky layer of electronic noises that quickly blends in with a variety of discordant acoustic samples eventually becoming a thick amalgam of distorted sounds. Rising above this noisy and blurred soundscape is some post-modern blather containing the plea, “Mr Capitalism, please castrate me.” The final request for castration is followed by the dim simplicity of “Walk Along the Cloud Mazeran” containing a looped droning chord surrounded by shards of woody and metallic percussion and eerie electronics.
Along with “Feldmans on the Koryakhut”, “Mujyun (Contradiction)” is tagged as one of two “suggested listening” tracks and rightly so. A private battle is being waged here as the warm sounds of processed samples of Spanish guitar compete with some cold digital minimalism and hoarsely whispered vocal samples creating an inescapably tense atmosphere of melancholy.