[sic] Magazine

Strom Noir – Sem Zimnej Noci‘

Bratislava-based Emil Matko describes his music as a meeting point between ambient electronics and post-rock minimalism and that is certainly true of ‘Sem Zimnej Noci‘, his 7th release since Strom Noir’s 2007 inception.

‘Nympph‘ is a gorgeous opener, chock full of Guthrie-esque gossamer guitar textures, reverbed to a degree of perfection. The same goes for the album’s title track itself, where the laid-back, light sounds seem to float in mid-air. ‘Cicada Queen‘ too reinforces these sentiments, winding echo-drenched found sounds round drifting washes of synth and soft guitar arpeggio’s, which seem to glance off stereo speaker systems.

Matko truly excels, though, when he leads us down darker paths. Which is apparent especially on the foreboding ‘Out of Body experience‘, where black glissando synth washes tangle, like reeds beneath a murky river, with recordings of heavy rainfall. ‘Meet Me On The Other Side‘ is similar in aura, building dramatically by layering huge vacuums of guitar, recalling Prazision-era Labradford, before it all evaporates into nothing more than a deep chill tone. The ghostly wailings of ‘Rusty Nails‘ too is a particular highlight, cinematic in scope and, like Solo Andata’s latest for 12K, conjures images of a futuristic, rain-swept and neon-lit Utopian city.

This particular release is a far more varied set than previous outing ‘Kueyen‘ (issued through netlabel Resting Bell) which, truth be told, didn’t offer much in way of originality. This time round Strom Noir’s sound moves from mildly intriguing to rousing and imaginative.



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