Author Topic: My review of "Maľované Kvety & Xeroxové Motýle" CD by Strom Noir  (Read 900 times)


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Strom Noir "Maľované Kvety & Xeroxové Motýle" CD

As I have mentioned before few times, since I am a Slovak, it's always a very special and highly treasured moment, when I can focus on a drone ambience Made in Slovakia. We have only a few acts delving deeply into these fascinating soundworlds and Strom Noir is undoubtedly the leading protagonist. Applauded discography of Emil Maťko, the sole creator behind this project, is certainly the best proof. His fourth album for Polish label Zoharum, "Maľované Kvety & Xeroxové Motýle" CD is out since the end of April 2017 in a limited edition of 300 copies. The black & white cover images just look absolutely gorgeous on a matte 6-panel eco wallet, so well-deserved kudos go to Praetorian for the photographs, to Michał Porwet for the cover concept as well as to Maciej Mehring for the cover design. All you guys have done such amazing work that precisely displays Strom Noir's soundscapes!

The album is divided in two parts, which were originally intended to be published on separate cassette releases. The first one entitled "Against A Dwarf" features five tracks, mostly recorded during August 2015 and March 2016, but the title composition was created between December 2012 and November 2014. 7-minute "Widely Opened Window" reveals the first half with mesmerizingly shimmering drone introspections, particularly displaying its title. A truly gorgeous soundscape!!! "Rozkyv Duše" (in English "Weaving Of Soul") shifts into slightly rawer terrains, where persistently helixing drones are intriguingly juxtaposed by starker hissy reflections. Hauntingly disturbing collage! "Saturday Is Gone" keeps on the path of poignant sonorousness, when propelled by mindscaping consonant spirals. Above mentioned title piece "Against A Dwarf", with 16 minutes the longest one on the whole album, unveils harmoniously glimmering sceneries, exquisitely reviving long forgotten memories. An emotional aural delight gratifying the listener's soul!!! "Echo V Tebe" (translated as "Echo In You") bridges intangibly evocative blankets with engrossing dissonant meridians. Then 10 seconds of [silence] closes "Against A Dwarf" part. The second half, "Painted Flowers & Xeroxed Butterflies", which is also an English interpretation of the Slovak album's title, consists of 5 tracks, mostly older ones recorded between January and August of 2011. The only exception is the opening cut "Tlkot Dreva & Bzukot Kovu" ("Throb Of The Wood & Buzz Of The Metal"), which was carved between December 2012 and February 2014. The piece is sculpted of rather monochromatic drone motif masterfully amalgamated with remote, yet pensive acoustic stringed poignancy and euphorically swirling hazy undercurrents. Intensely enveloping listening bliss awaits here, bravo, Strom Noir!!! The title composition "Painted Flowers & Xeroxed Butterflies", reaching nearly 11-minute mark, dives into slightly subterranean colored domains, merging vivacious organic rumbles and enigmatic tapestries with an array of tremulously hanging strings. Another big one and this uniquely stirring soundscape fully blossoms with your headphones on! "Shattered Like A Glass Goblin" returns to more soothing, although perplexingly engulfing drone zones, navigated by flatlined desolations and guarded by phantasmal choirs. "Ttoollosk" remains in calmer territories, where peacefully droning stratums commingle with lush stringed imageries. The closing shorter "Pure II" follows the static trace, yet this time illuminated by glitchy quietudes and it makes a very suitable conclusion of this wonderfully immersing dronescaping ride.

Although the recollection on "Maľované Kvety & Xeroxové Motýle" album covers about a five year time period, all compositions coexist quite well and homogenous even if more colorful throughout the second section and showcase during 73 minutes a gamut of Strom Noir's greatly praised insignias. Certainly a top-notch highly recommended album, both audibly and visually!!! Kudos to Emil Maťko/Strom Noir as well as to Zoharum's guys and Praetorian from DeviantArt network!!!

Richard Gürtler (Sep 12, 2017, Bratislava, Slovakia)