Boomkat Product Review:
Described as "skeletal club music", 'Healing Music 7-12' is iDEAL boss Joachim Nordwall's attempt to synthesize the DNA of dub techno, industrial and electronic minimalism - just don't call it ambient. RIYL Chain Reaction, Rrose, Pan Sonic or Einsturzende Neubauten.
'Healing Music' is a weighted title. Right now, it brings to mind a deluge of contempo new age slop: passive ambient records and guided meditations that go hand-in-hand with California's wellness industrial complex. But Nordwall knows this all too well, and his first installment, released last year, was an attempt to frustrate the narrative. 'Healing Music 7-12' continues down the same path, a selection of emaciated rhythms that capture the meditative qualities of club music - the throbbing, repetitive rhythms, the sparse melodic content, the latent psychedelia. He more firmly roots himself in dub this time around, and a track like 'Healing Music 8' sounds like a lesser-heard Chain Reaction 12" with half of the channels muted.
Elsewhere, Nordwall allows himself to experiment with volume and cacophony, tapping into industrial noise on 'Healing Music 9' and using harsh, deafening bursts alongside wobbly oscillator vamps. The mode is developed further on 'Healing Music 11' as he muffles the aggression and lets thick, kick-like pulses cut into the sprawl. Nordwall's careful to keep the rhythm relatively dynamic, varying the density of the sounds so they sound as if they're alive, despite the minimalism. And by 'Healing Music 12' there's almost nothing left but throbbing static, that's ultimately interrupted by a ghastly, high-pitched electrical squeal. It might not be the healing music you expect, but it's the healing music you probably need.