Saturday, October 29, 2011
From the Shadows
I've been following Hospital Productions for the last couple of years, since Kevin Drumm's two "Imperial" releases. For me, Drumm's "Imperial Horizon" is perhaps the best ambient album of the last decade. If you have never heard it, I strongly, strongly urge you to address this situation. And while I deeply love this album, most of what I've tried from Hospital since then has been a bit "too much" for me. But I have remained interested, because I got the sense they were right on the fringes of sounds I do really connect with, as the Drumm releases showed. So I was very interested when a FACT mix appeared from label head Dominick Fernow under his Prurient guise. The really stand out moment in the mix was a track by Vatican Shadow, another name Fernow is working under. But it was a cassette only release, so I gave up and forgot about it until Boomkat released the digitals a few weeks ago. I immediately purchased them and... wow. There are some really killer tracks across these releases, with the strongest being on 'Washington Buries Al Qaeda Leader At Sea Decks 1-3'. And bonus points from the brilliant names and imagery (I wonder if the next release with be about Gaddafi). To give you an idea, here is one track from that release:
Vatican Shadow is operating in a similar territory as the darker, gloomier sounds that has been popular recently - the most obvious markers are Raime and Blackest Ever Black, Regis and elements of Sandwell, through to Shackleton etc., and he is presumably working with similar influences from the late 1970s and the 1980s, with perhaps Muslimgauze being one of the strongest (I say perhaps because I really do not know his music very well). If you've been enjoying these kind of sounds, there is a strong chance you'll like what Vatican Shadow is doing. So my advice would be to head over to Boomkat and pick up the digitals. According to discogs, it looks like there are two releases that are still cassette only - including an album of which only 33 copies were made (what is the point?). Hopefully these will also get a digital release soon, as I am very keen to hear them. So keep an eye out for Vatican Shadow, I think many ssgs will like it.