Thursday, 30 April 2020

Hostile Surgery - The Day Called X.

Hostile Surgery – The Day Called X. – Digital Release – 2020.

1. The Day Called X, Part 1: Storm Born.
2. The Day Called X, Part 2: Waking Room.
3. The Day Called X, Part 3: Bleed Out.
4. The Day Called X, Part 4: Incoming Whispers.

Life turned itself into an incessant storm.
The world's defense protocols are activated.
The sky turns into the most terrible beauty.
Under a bleak, droning, dark and haunting soundscapes, everything leads to a lesser burning sun.

I feel I am doing my bit for the COVID-19 Virus by reviewing releases that tie in as a soundtrack for these strange times of isolation and social distancing.  My thoughts are with everyone. This one came through the Inbox last week and it did not hit me as being a Copy and Paste chancer. Hostile Surgery is a new project that is based in Switzerland and it is the work of Kieran Pavel. The Day Called X is the debut release by the project.

This release comes in four parts, the first act, Storm Born serves as a good introduction to the album. It is built out of low-level drones and samples that interact with each other respectfully and carefully. The drones grow as they pulsate increasingly as the lead sound which sounds like thick tape being ripped off a roll as it cracks and rips. There is a good sense of space surrounding the elements of sound, it creates a bleak sound collage.

Waking room uses similar interactions, but a crackling distortion takes the lead and is more woven into the drones that surround it; this creates a thicker texture and density to the work. The breaking down of the space between sounds builds tension as things are now forced to work together or play off each other. The rises and changes in waves of the pulsations create a moving wall of sound that is ever shifting within the limits of its own confines.

The sense of darkness intensifies on Bleed Out as the sound elements intensify and build hostility.  Bleed Out radiates and pulsates more, it is less dense than Waking Room, but the sounds seem to have a bigger scope and depth and really push outward. This all makes for the best passage of sound on the album, the underlying sadness of this bleak landscape really lingers.

The simmering Incoming Whispers is the album’s finale. It feels as if it is made from singing bowls and blistering distortion, the two simple elements make for a rich combination. There is a less hostile ambient depth to this part, it shifts from more dreamlike to that feeling of the sun’s rays shining in your eyes when waking up on a summer morning.

The Day Called X is a dark, yet ultimately beautiful journey. It serves as a good debut for Hostile Surgery and hints towards great things in the future.

Nevis Kretini 2020. 

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