Boomkat Product Review:
Exquisitely poised, hallucinatory chamber minimalism by Dutch duo Wanderwelle, a new name to us, and one naturally up to scratch with Important’s exacting standards
Helping usher in the seminal label’s 20th year along with superb sides by Lambda Sond and Alvin & Lucier with Jordan Dykstra, ‘Black Clouds Above The Bows’ shares a gloaming quality of light with the former act, which Wanderwelle deploy at more furtive, submerged angles. It’s their 5th album since 2017, and also their most refined, deploying a very fine grasp of edge-of-dissonant tones and absorbingly enigmatic space that calls for comparison with a sort of post-apocalyptic 4th world interzone, like a shadowier Pauline Oliveros piece or the barren cinematic isolationism of Lynch/Badalamenti and The Stranger, as the work progresses deep into its own recesses and quietly glowing folds of imagination.
Aye, it’s properly in tune with what, after 20 years, we can safely say makes the Important label tick. Working with unusual or non-standard tuning systems, the Dutch alchemists carefully conjure peculiar planes of thought on their journey from the darkly blissed buoyancy of ‘Jonah’ to the Lynchian tonal intrigue, and stuff, of ‘My Body Lay Afloat’; holding a fine narrative line between the first encounter-type atmosphere of ‘The Horned Moon’ thru the moonlight-bathed ‘Dead Calm’, and magnificent airborne roil of smeared horns in ‘Dies Infaustes’ that precipitates a transfixing deathly solemnity in ‘Penance’, and teeth-chattering stygian feel of ‘The Devil Knows How To Row’. One for the darkside connoisseurs, to be sure.