Empty Pool / Carrion

Album Title: 
Estate Sale
Release Date: 
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Review Type: 

I’m not sure, yet I think I never wrote a review for Seatle-based Noise-label Imploding Sounds before. A pity, for this netlabel does house quite some fine and/or ‘popular’ artists: Lord Cernunnos, TAB IN/TAB OUT, Juanito))), RDKPL and many, many more. But anyway, now I will, because of (1) the qualitative high-level roster behind this label (they are always worth being mentioned somehow) and because of (2) both projects involved within this split.

Actually, this review deals with two one-man outfits from the U.K., Empty Pool and Carrion. It would be a waste of time to spent my energy on writing down any discographic or biographic essay about them; check out one of the reviews I wrote for them before. For this strangely-called split-effort (Estate Sale, really?...), both projects offered one new piece, each of them clocking almost half an hour. The cover artwork is like some advertising picture of a sale indeed from, well, maybe, a property in the south of Spain; a casa with an empty pool in the backyard or so?... …sorry, I can’t help it…

The first composition is Wet Brain by Empty Pool (the guy behind this outfit is almost a temporary neighbor from me at the inlands of the rough yet beautiful Malaga area). And hey, it does differ from what we might be used of, for the harsher dimensions of Electronics / Noise have been replaced by rather Ambiental dronework. Wet Brain is much less static than what I know from this act, rather delving into the muddy pits of Dark Ambient Drone Noise Wall (indeed, as from the creation of this specific piece, this genre, DADNW, does officially exist). It’s a long-wave atmospheric drone, with multiple layers of murmuring synth-manipulations, like the sound of morphing orbits being canalized into an immense cosmos of sonic anesthesia. Somehow emollient and soothing in essence, these floating soundscapes get injected, secretly, almost enigmatic, with subtle noisy effects and secretive cracking and crumbling. In an unobtrusive manner, this creation evolves the whole of the time. Though, the last quarter sort of fades back into a more enlightened yet profoundly hypnotic, even stroboscopic, state of self-hypnosis, with refined, delicate sound-sculptures and soporific drones (with ‘soporific’ meant as a reflection of introspection and meditation rather than boredom, of course).

Peter Beswick’s Carrion contributes with These Old Bones, an oscillating sound-collage that characterizes the windy / wintery identity of this guy’s most active / productive project. The spine gets typified by the ostensibly icy sound of a Nordic wind; and ‘icy’, in this case, means Arctic for sure, like Arctic during a most severe winter. It envisions a polar storm, with sharp particles of frozen water molecules piercing one’s skin, ear-deafening thunder-winds piercing one’s eardrums, and a devastating coldness shattering one’s old bones (hey, this title seems to make sense, haha). But of course, Carrion is more than a fragment from some barren documentary. The total amalgam of sound-shaping and pulsation, including other field-recorded fragments, accompanies the listener into a sentiment of despair, question and vacillation. It permanently waltzes and crushes like a massive avalanche of boulders, yet then again it does maintain a temper of finesse and amenity as well.