Arma / Komodo Haunts - Split

Reviewer: Daina

A: Arma
I am so used to Arma's physical presence - on stage, close to the stage, in front of it, that it makes kindda weird effect to be listening to something of his without him present.
After listening to the whole of the album I must admit it amounts well to the big expectations that you would have from someone having all this performer / promoter / label background.
The squeaky crunchy silent start for a prologue, then a nice wave of huge drones which later evolve into somewhat flute-like melodies - nice development of the composition, really. The second piece is more of a feverish toss of mostly mids- and highs, all mounted on a running water soundscape. After a scrupulously structured first piece this gives a totally different insight into Arma's sound world, and that's basically what I know about him - he might play two completely different gigs with the same instruments on the same tour, it's never alike. Improvisational nature of his creative performances causes the shift in the nature and the quality of every performance, yet it's always a guaranty it will never be boring. Cute.
Third piece starts out in an empty gloomy cave down under, with the sounds of dripping water and thrilling somewhat human echoes, it's way darker than the first two pieces, but it contributes well to the overall ambience of this side of the tape. Circular mid-frequency hum gains more presence towards the middle of the piece, an inclusion of industry into the nature gradually unfolds with the march-like sounds, then elegantly descends into the oblivion.
And then the fourth one, appeared the very same moment I thought that three is a perfect number for one side of the album. It seems as if it were just the piece to fill-in the space that remained, still I enjoy its hypnotic motion, but the same won't be said about the fifth piece which really gets me thinking it is just a plug not willing to leave empty spaces. Oh well.

B: Komodo Haunts
Melancholic soundscapes, somewhat golden and glittery if to define them by color. Warm drones envelop the ear right from the start of the B-side of the tape. The vanishing point is someplace close, but one never reaches it, going about in circles of tantric hums. I've never heard Komodo Haunts before and I must admit it's a nice surprise (after all of the nasty surprises I stumble upon in the so-called experimental electronics scene, where almost each newcomer is so sure to have discovered an Eldorado-of-the-Sound while jerking off with his sampler).
It's easy to loose it while working on ambient piece - try holding the (at)tension of your listener for half an hour and you'll know what I mean - but I believe Komodo Haunts succeeds well. Although their sound is a proper embodiment of the word "tranquillity", it doesn't really make you sleep and linger in attendance for some weird Godot - the minuscule particles in the sound are constantly shifting in the space of the sound, and you might think you hear the whole spectrum of various instruments originating from the Eastern music culture. It's a fascinating space to explore.
Along with the second piece a heavy load of chimes and heavenly butterflies kindda kicks me out of my shoes - I haven't been expecting that much of dreamland-like sounds, but at the end it works well with this summer sun out of my window. Worth checking out. Both sides.

Format: CS
Released: 2013
Label: Agharta
Edition: 70