REVIEW: V/A - "74x13"

By John Eich

Chain Border

74x13This is a compilation CD from DTA Records that can best be described as "dark ambient." Kicking things off is Forma4 with the track Blindredsunset. It begins with an odd chanting layered overtop of ambient electronic soundscapes. An excellent opener for this compilation and it provides direction for the tracks to follow. Next up we have Wilt with the track Metal Rimming The Low Ridge. This track can best be described as mellow, but has a droning noise that sounds like a bad ground which repeats itself throughout the song, along with some metal against metal scraping. Decent track overall, but that droning noise can be a bit annoying.

Time for the third track: Screening - Experiments. I wasn't impressed with this at all. I didn't like it from the start. Kind of an experimental/noise sort of thing going on, but no real direction to it. It has an ambient undertone but the noises just sound like distortion gone crazy. Chaos Shelter - Ultima Thule is the fourth track. This track has a very atmospheric feel to it that I found quite enjoyable. There are too many noises going on to give a full description of it, but if you like music that creates a dark atmosphere this track's for you.

Narc - Uni-Lineal is up next on the lineup. This is a great follow up track to the Chaos Shelter song. It has a sort of quiet before the storm feel to it. Almost like they took the sound of strong winds blowing against your house and layered it over an ambient track. Towards the end of it, it does get quite noisy but overall it was a decent track. Emulsion - Missing Time Again comes at you with an almost religious feel to it. A female chants throughout the track over top of high pitched noises keeping the ambient feeling of this CD flowing. 15 Degrees Below 0 is the next band with That Same Night In Bremen In A Somnambulistic Dream…WHEW…that's a long track name! It's dark, experimental, noisy and ambient all rolled into one. As the rest of the CD was making me start to feel relaxed this one woke me right back up. It even has some bass beats mixed into it to make things interesting.

Lux Mammoth - Subordinates sounds like a robot on crack. The electronic noises throughout the track combined with the bass guitar really doesn't seem to fit into the flow of this CD at all. I didn't like it too much. Bloodflowers - Passing Nightmare is track nine. The title says it all. I liked this one a lot. It had a very dark feel to it all the way through. Stillstand - Zwiegespraech comes next. It is an experimental/noise track as best I gather. For some reason it reminded me of a car motor with a bad miss to it as the basic rhythm, with distorted synth voices recorded over top of it. I'm not a big fan of this style music and didn't like this track either.

Stelladrine - Project Blue Book is track number eleven. It seems to me this compilation is really going downhill now. It started off beautifully with some great dark ambient tracks, but rips you right out of that feel towards the end. Another noisy track that I didn't like at all. Manherringbone - M33(C) is up next. Ahhh, I feel the ambience starting to come back! This track is still a bit noisy for my taste, but overall I liked the vibe I got from it. It brought the dark ambience back to this compilation. Nihil Est Excellence - [==] is the thirteenth and final track on the CD. I really, really like this track. The whole track has evil, almost tribal sounding drum beats to it. An excellent way to end this CD.

Overall I liked this CD and if you are interested in dark ambient, or experimental/noise at all, I recommend this to you. Check it out, DTA Records seems like the new up-and-comer in this genre of music and I'd watch out for quite a few of these artists on this release. I'm sure there are good things to come in the future.

Contact Information:
E-mail: info@dtarecords.com
Web: http://www.dtarecords.com

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