Sachiko & Fukuoka Rinji: αTOMOΣ

[12 April 2012]

By Emma H. Sundstrom

In a word, αTOMOΣ is two tracks, or fifty minutes, of pure ambient drone. Composed only of feedback, noises, and loops, αTOMOΣ is not atypical among drone records, but it is above average in execution and that’s especially impressive if you happen to remember that this is a live recording.

The title track is harrowing, centered on a relentless pulse, high and haunting like an alarm found still chirping at some sort of long abandoned crime scene. A hiss of white noise begins chopping in and out, followed by clacking and whirring like a broken machine in a dark room. Unfortunately, though, the end of the track introduces of what sounds like a sample of a taped announcement looped continuously over a low-grade P.A. Sure, it’s creepy but it’s also a cheap trick and it’s been done to death. Track two, in contrast, evokes an ancient, dimly sunlit cathedral. Faint Gregorian undertones make this song as chilling as the first.

It’s enough to give you bad dreams, in a good way.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/156639-sachiko-fukuoka-rinji-tomo/