Monday, 17 February 2020

SK.MV -Slow Death.

SK.MV Slow Death. CD. Cipher Productions. Sic107. 2018. 100 copies.

SK.MV is a collaboration between Stephen Petrus of Murderous Vision and Wyatt Howland of Skin Graft. This is their only album; Slow Death and it is a story of Personal and Social decay that is spread across 5 tracks. I like the effective artwork and presentation of the album spread nicely over 2 panels in a unique soft plastic, non-jewel case.

The first chapter of Slow Death is an immediately atmospheric and rich recording. Electronics and clattering lead the noise at the forefront, whilst cold, echoing backing shifts position between front and background to set us on the journey that is Slow Death. The first track has an immediate aggressive assault with threatening distortion and loud clanging, this is a focussed use of noise that leans into Dark Ambient atmospherics.

The second track pulls back into deep dark ambient territory whilst the distortion remains and becomes a lead component in the sound. It functions like an interrupted dream state that is manipulated continually. Aggressive drones and rising electronic sounds turn dreams into nightmares as the pace of the track accelerates. III continues the nightmarish passages of sound and pulsates itself into a faster pace. The sounds multiply on top of each other to form a heightened state of noise with lots going on so different elements of sound take prominence at different times. It winds itself down by removing different sounds from the mass that has built up, as the sound rebuilds itself it becomes more noise aggressive and violent, using sharp feedback, hiss and pulsating drones. Four is immediately chaotic and psychedelic, percussion seems to be present as noise chaos ensues. The psychedelic chaos is more prominent in comparison to the aggression that built up over previous tracks. Vocal chanting enters the chaos towards the end of the track and takes over as lead sound.  
The finale strips back allowing a few noises to make the sound feel sparse and cold; the communication between the different elements of sound has more impact. Less is more, even as it strips back elements are concise and the slightest build up is felt. The nightmare plays itself out.

SK.MV appears to be a one-off project, the product of that being Slow Death which is a strong album that is beautifully presented and played out well. All tracks tie in together and continue from one to the next perfectly. Good work.

Nevis Kretini 2020.

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