Skag Arcade & – Fernweh

Published by Davide Pappalardo on June 16, 2016

skag-arcade-meanwhile-in-texas-fernwehA collaboration on cassette limited to 60 copies is the new work under the Luce Sia (the Swiss experimental label) banner: we are talking about Fernweh by Skag Arcade and, two Italian artists dedicated to experimental electronic music and the mixing of noise, walls of sound, abstract sonic structures, drone music and much more.

Skag Arcade has a self-released album, Post tenebras lux, where he has shown his love for harsh electronics, while is a new artist that displays here for the first time his kind of ambient, drone, noise, and field recordings. A match made in heaven we can say, which give us a synergistic work composed by two very long tracks, The silent crater of the abyss by Skag Arcade and Santa Teresa (Across the dark fields of bleakness) by

The first track starts with subterranean and eery sounds, soon encompassed by dark ambient movements and sharp effects. An “earthquake-like” crescendo finds its place between strident feedbacks and dissonant edges, in a completed transition to a chaotic and dreadful sonic world. We can perceive tortured guitar arpeggios and different sound sources, all digested in a new, primordial and antithetic form; but a pure noise affair this is not, as orchestral elements have their place, eery voices and symphonic sounds. Then, an obsessive loop is generated by a feedback, giving us a noisy sound with ritualistic qualities, which transcends genres picturing a majestic baritone. Orchestral elements return having their say, in a closing motif that enthralls us with a hypnotic sequence made to be experienced with transcendence, which is enhanced by dark ambient sounds.

The second one welcomes us with drones and static sounds, generating a misty atmosphere dominated by distant evocations and primordial urges. Tribal rhythms are connected to jarring industrial movements, while orchestral sounds are buried in the obscure mix. Then they find relevance, organized by field recordings samples in a continuous mantra. It is time for a more ambient section, without forfeiting noise elements. A sound narrative we could say, where throbbing souds and distant, sampled and filtered, ghostly voices are used as “music” instruments in an opera for the damned. The rest of the track is devoted to a noise loop, which envelops the songwriting in a post-industrial dirge for wasted lands, closing with a drone mantra made of static beauty.

An interesting work, not for everyone (in sound and availability), that shows the ever present will of Luce Sia to give home to many Italian experimental artists, and to create works where music finds a reasoned structure even in the way the single parts are placed and combined between each others. Not simply a collection of works by two different artists to show them to the public, but a collaborative effort that has a meaning in the totality of the listening experience. More than two tracks, two sides of a tape that guide us between menacing and creeping soundscapes, in an “orchestral noise” fashion that defies tags and simple classifications. Food for the curious and adventurous listener.

Label: Luce Sia

Rating: 7, 5