Friday, 9 August 2019

Kloob - Unpredictable Signs

Artist:  Kloob
Label: Winter-Light
Catalogue no: N/A

     1.      Unreachable Realms
     2.      Deep Introspection
     3.      Unique Sights
     4.      Ancient Resonances
     5.      Insondable
     6.      Full Immersion
     7.      Vulnerability Source
     8.      Endless Motion

Another Bandcamp raid conducted under the cover of darkness last night, and I came away with some glistening gems, such as this one by Dani Kloob. On the one hand the eight pieces here, seen as a whole, can be likened to the breath of the universe, or God, or God(s), an all-pervasive suffusion of gracious energy binding all together. On the other hand, there’s also a certain species of dark edginess apparent, a kind of nervous energy threatening to upset the delicate balance: superficially, everything is always as it has been but, dig a little deeper, and there are signs of a malignancy blackening and metastasising. For now, though, the body of reality continues to function, but the signs of disturbance are there for those who know where to look.

Kloob stamps his credentials on the opening ‘Unreachable Realms’, an airy, gliding meander around the far distant spheres of the unknown and unknowable universe. It sails along majestically, swooping and soaring, borne upon the winds of a low drone. ‘Deep Introspection’ is all about the inner spaces, the vast chasms between thought and perception, between understanding and action. The distances inside are as vast as those between the stars and galaxies, and knowing ourselves is just as difficult a task as it is to fully grasp the workings of the outer cosmos. Cavernous raspings and exhalations echo endlessly, sourceless and indecipherable, eluding our intellectual grasp.

Sweeping rumbles fly in on Eastern winds on ‘Unique Sights’, a layered mirage of phantasms and bejewelled cities seen only at unreachable distances. The winds venture to carry us to the fabled sights of the Orient, however their glittering lights always remain just out of reach. Perhaps ‘Ancient Resonances’ is that storied and alluring past, full of myth and legend in which those bright metropolises were built, now reaching out to us from across the ages. But it’s a double-edged sword: it is exotic, yes, but also full of danger, bright but also very murky. The light of understanding is dim, only showing the highlights and deepening the shadows to occult whatever lurks there. Indistinct mumblings can sometimes be detected, voices of lives lived to the full but now forgotten.

A solitary drone wafts in and out of hearing, accompanied by a cold, deep blast of frigid air that searches out and finds every single nook and cranny in your protection to gain access. Vision is obscured, the shapes filling your sight dancing and shifting in incomprehensible movements, both subtly enticing and thrillingly alarming. This is ‘Insondable’, a French word meaning unfathomable, an apt description of the shifting perceptions and fleeting glimpses afforded our eyes. ‘Full Immersion’ invites us to submerge below the threshold of maya, the illusory world, and enter into a quantum realm where, perhaps, what we witness is the actual reality of material existence, and that the one we experience normally is only an invented paradigm tailored specifically to our perceptual understanding and capacities. Dream selves, shadows, phantasms, creative explosions of fantastical energies, glimpses of parallel dimensions, alternative pasts, presents, and futures, all collide in one huge detonation, the results hurling themselves at the inner cinema screen of our minds, enchanting and frightening simultaneously.

‘Vulnerable Source’ hovers on the edge of fragility, an icicle in sunlight, a gossamer web gently bending with every breeze until that wind gathers strength and snaps the threads. And then, somehow, we find ourselves floating in the seas of the rarest aethers once more in ‘Endless Motion’, the airy orbits whose shores we only glimpsed in ‘Unreachable Realms’. Those lands are still unreachable, but they’re now clearer, if only a little bit so.

Kloob’s minimalistic approach works to his advantage here – spare layering of sounds, solid foundations of susurrating washes, interspersed with pinpoints of contrasting colours, counterpoints, and subtle highlights. It’s an album that’s both indicative of something just beyond our reach, a diffuse firmament to strive towards, and also, underlying that, the knowledge that beneath the dreamlands lie aspects of life and reality which are sometimes best left undisturbed, but nevertheless should be acknowledged. I was both elevated and sent flying amongst the celestial bodies, and likewise also submerged beneath the murk and silt-laden swamp waters. Mark this as a veritable contrast of moods, backed by sensitive compositional nuances, making this a set worth your time investing in.

And just look at that cover – fantastical and magnificent, reminding me of Kris Kuksi’s sculptures.

Pstmon Marshall 2019

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