CD Review

Numina/Caul – “Inside the Hollow Realm”

By Ray Van Horn, Jr.

Inside the Hollow RealmOkay, it’s that time again. Another coldwave body of work crosses my desk and while I first wanted to snarl furiously within the opening minute of this seemingly ambitious project, I soon found myself yielding to the electronic hypnotism of Serpent Sounds. Quite soothing, almost new agey. I can dig it. The Renaissance-ish percussion extraction inside of Descent to Darkness is pretty killer, as is its airy conclusion. I’ve only done pot twice in my life and never before have I felt the extreme urge for a toke by the time the second track, Night Sky Darkens, pierced my ears with its shrill mesmerizing.

This is not to say Numina/Caul is a new subcategory of music: stoner/coldwave, but that’s the effect left by the hazy Night Sky Darkens and you will undoubtedly swim in its trance. Seldom does anything carrying the tag “trance” ensnare you like a captive as Numina/Caul does. Gads, can there be hope for my appreciation of this music form? Obviously its significance in the underground is something to take note of, given the twisted legion of its practitioners.

While there are a few moments of genuine pleasure on this disc, the fact remains that I’m hopelessly at odds with this style of electronic music, and folks, I openly support expressionistic art! I feel like I’ve lost something along the way. I mean, Salvador Dali is my favorite painter, goddammit! Where is my snaggletoothed embracement of against-the grain music? It’s gone towards outside-the-box progressive metal like Subterranean Masquerade; I can tell you that much, anyway.

What I will say in favor of Numina/Caul, is that they’ve somehow found a way to upend noticeable calming grooves amidst their temporal electronic madness. This is what’s frustrating to me on a personal level. I want to shut the damn thing off, but I can’t! If you’re already into this kind of art, Inside the Hollow Realm will be a must for you. Damn, where did I go wrong in life? I love Morton Subotnik, for crying out loud! I no longer feel as hip as I did yesterday…

Contact Information:
Gestalt Records
Post: 3650 Osage St., Main Floor, Denver, CO, 80221, USA

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