Boomkat Product Review:
Abul Mogard links with Raster and Mego alum CoH to bruise analog alchemy with chilly digital processes. Gruesome electronic dirt for fans of Coil, Nurse With Wound and..well, Vainio.
Abul Mogard has finally been unmasked. Long billed as the project of a Serbian metalworker who used synthesizers as a nostalgic musical tribute to factory life, it's now been revealed that he's actually none other than Guido Zen, the Italian producer who's been involved with acts like Gamers in Exile and Ecstatic's Potter Natalizia Zen supergroup. Zen met Russian industrial-electronic mainstay Ivan Pavlov (aka CoH) at a Slovenian festival in 2019, and the two realised they shared a connection. Zen's music is based around his love of Buchla 200 and Serge Modular sounds, dubbed to tape for extra grit, while Pavlov has a reputation for razor-sharp electronic minimalism that's not a million miles removed from Alva Noto or Mika Vainio.
'CoH meets Abul Mogard' is a relatively restrained collaboration, but one that speaks to both artist's wealth of experience. Their two distinctive voices can be clearly made out on 'Untangled Forever', the first of four ten minute compositions that hover between Zen's woozy modular fetishism and Pavlov's robotic industrial grind. If you're a fan of Coil's more surreal experiments - particularly "Time Machines" - then this one'll surely tickle yr fancy; Pavlov's characteristically rhythmic buzzes are unmistakably queered by Zen's microtonal drones, forcing the mind to make peculiar realizations. 'Traverse Within' takes it even further, evolving from simmering dread into choppy Pavolv-ian rhythmic electronics that tip into ruff-hewed Pan Sonic territory before it splutters to a close.
'For Distances Above' is the album's most brooding cut, slithering odiously from rubbery rhythmic synthesis into Merzbow-esque oscillating power electronics. 'Find and Hold' is a final palate cleanser, 10 minutes of faded ambient biz that nods more forcefully to Zen's previous Abul Mogard albums.