Alphaxone / Dronny Darko

Album Title: 
Beyond The Event Horizon
Release Date: 
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Review Type: 

When Ambient artists join forces, the outcome is often a pleasure for the eardrums. In the case of Cryo Chamber it is about always purest aural satisfaction. I do not know how they do it, but each collab released via this label is like incomprehensible mathematics. Normally 1 + 1 = 2, yet in these case, the result of ‘1+1’ is much more than a simple ‘2’.

Okay, this too has to do with the highly-qualitative efforts of the artists involved, evidently. Cryo Chamber is a label that ‘collects’ some of the best projects from our glorious globe. Yet still, it is remarkable that every cooperative result is of such impressive quality.

This time I am talking about a joint effort of Iran-based Alphaxone and Ukrainian act Dronny Darko. It is not their first mutual recording, by the way, on this label. In 2017 they did impress me (and about the whole worldwide audience) with Forsaken. So I was quite aroused when I noticed that both guys (respectively Mehdi Saleh and Oleg Puzan) joined forces once again.

The result is called Beyond The Event Horizon, and of course it comes with such marvelous artwork. It sort of reminds me of the so-called Pillars of Creation. Once more, this visual art was created by label owner Simon Heath himself (and FYI: he took care of the mastering duties as well). The album clocks about one hour, being divided into eight cohesive chapters. Besides the digital version, there are 300 copies on (six-paneled) digipack compact-disc as well.

Well, as from the opening sequence of Shadow Constellation, one cannot ignore the dense, brooding atmosphere, which will eventually characterize the whole sonic adventure. It starts ‘small’ and ‘integer’, if you want to, yet immediately promulgating a profound and tight aural universe. This monotone yet dim drone slowly floats by, combining and extracting meditative serenity and mesmerizing senses. After two minutes and something, modestly yet convincingly, additional keyboard lines join, enriching the initiatory sound-lines with other synth-laden treats. Different layers get organically mingled into a world of awe and reverie.

That stunning opening track is just the harbinger of more adventurous events to come. That gets defined as from the second composition, Out Of Orbit. This piece is little more bountiful when looking at the sound-palette. Omnifarious layers on digital / keyboard level are morphed into a monumental and spacious, yet sensitive and untouchable kaleidoscope-of-noise, smoothly injected by subtly-used yet prominently-presented samples and sounds. At this moment, by the way, both members’ individual approaches naturally fuse into a gigantesque partnership. And that’s how Beyond The Event Horizon evolves.

Each single track on this album – and there are eight titles involved, as mentioned before – comes with a unique, self-faced approach, resulting in an exclusive coherence. Some parts lean over towards the darker aspects of Drone, others disclose a rather spacelike admission, then again it glorifies the beauty of astral fantasy and cinematic sound-sculpting. Despite the long-stretched, somewhat pulsating soundwaves, the whole offers a diverse and prolific narrative, teasing the listener’s soul. It somehow focuses on (self) reflection and comprehension; reflection about man’s vanity, comprehension about the immensity of time and space. …although, comprehension might rather be defined as mankind’s nescience and caducity within the immense erudition of our nothingness.

Beyond The Event Horizon is not an easy-listening experience, for it has many elements and spheres to hide and to reveal. Each listen might open a new portal towards the inner-self, and at the same time it secretes other principles that seemed evident and obvious before. That’s the strength of this collab, for it delves deeper into the soul, and at the same time it focuses on expansion and resignation too. Dark Ambient, Space Ambient, Drone, hints of Atmospheric Industrial and sampling are canalized into an aural quest of a high-standard quality…