March 9, 2013

Environments - Fraktal (2013)

Here at Tzeeeac, we handle requests for review in a democratic and liberal fashion. Such was the case for the latest offering from Environments, a bunch of romanian music lovers with a knack for ambient/drone.

Thus, we found ourselves sitting round our virtual HQ table, trying to figure out which one merited the honor. Needles to say, we had a little bit of a struggle. Chester kept complaining he couldn’t do it because it didn’t sound anything like bears fighting with trash cans inside an electrified cage, George was not himself, but rather a hologram of his persona, respectfully informing us that he is still internetless (and kept reminding us how the only furniture in his kitchen is a neatly sharpened saw and some folded carpets) while Marco, well, he was in some sort of trance where he kept mumbling “Where should I change my name? Huh? What?” repeatedly. Gherasim was sitting on his usual throne in the sky, watching us mortals squabbling.

You can notice the predicament here. I could have just simply volunteered myself, since I dabble in this kind of music on occasion, but instead I opened my mouth and spewed out a random piece of information that would finally get the others focused and made myself the proud owner of this review that doesn’t seem to quite start yet. It was something along the lines of “Hey, I used to make fractals several years ago!”

What could that even mean? Well, let me tell you, I am a man of temporary hobbies. The most recent one is funding a mechanical project, a couple of years ago I started a self-thought process of “how to make your own music based on the use of synths” - abandoned for the sake of abandonment really, while about five or six years ago I had a deep focus on creating artsy looking fractals with the use of computer dedicated software. 

With this in mind, I thought I’d share some of my creations alongside this album, but after scouring two personal computers, several deviantArt accounts and more than five email addresses,  I realized that the pictures resulted in said creation process were just a long-lost legacy. So you’ll just have to take my word for it.  (By this time, you may have noticed I have a bit of an identity problem; it also reflects in the change of name here, on Tzeeeac; I am the one that gods and mortals alike used to call Zulu).

Now, back to the actual music. Wait, we hadn’t even started on it? Oh well, go figure…

Environments is a romanian ambient trio and Fraktal is their third album, due to be released on the 16’th of March. And they’ve been nice enough to let us have a sneak preview of it (thanks guys!). What we have here is a collection of six tracks that make a great point of blending together drones, piano, guitar and drums, creating a very organic sound that seems to go well while listened at a loud volume.

I hear, on occasion, bits and pieces that remind me of my favorite ambient/drone project (of the few I listen to), Desiderii Marginis, yet the record still holds its own in creating a strong individual motive. The first five tracks are a bit low key and dreamy, making for a spacey listening experience, but I found myself more engulfed with the sounds of the last song, “Fathom, Movement, Field”. Its abrasive approach, with drums buried in the background, detaches a bit from the ‘ambient’ category and gives way to a completely different entity, one that unfortunately ends in an abrupt manner; needless to say, I found myself wanting for more because I felt the track was just starting to develop into something greater.

Overall, I enjoyed the album very much, the only nitpicking I could find is that it lacks in the bass department. As I turned the volume up I expected some kind of reaction in the walls and windows, yet that never (truly) happened. Fifth track, Blecher, showed a bit of potential in this area, but still fell a little bit short. I don’t know, maybe fractals aren’t so fond of annoying the neighbours :).

With that said, I’ll leave you in the company of their music. Check these guys out on the following links

and keep in mind that they’ll be touring alongside Valerinne, another romanian band we featured here on Tzeeeac. In fact, they’re even going to hit Leipzig alongside Umberto (insert a happy Chester  comment here).

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