Boomkat Product Review:
Exquisite, barely-there, frequency-massaged electronic purism from Ivan Pavlov’s CoH alias on Editions Mego. We can simply say this is CoH’s most refined, involving album in memory. RIYL Jakob Ullmann, Eliane Radigue, Hafler Trio…
Where his recent transmissions such as RETRO-2038 (2013) and TO BEAT (2014) have explored filigree integers of deceptively playful rhythm, noise and melody, his latest operates somewhere between the stark near-silences and icy pulses of Mika Vainio’s Ø works, the classical quiet music gestures of Jakob Ullmann, or the farthest, coldest Coil projections, for example; intently focussing on subtle, tactile dynamics of amplitude and the space between the notes or phrases.
Working in the purest electronic terms, he genuinely trips us out with a palette of barely-there tones and his signature, raw electrical hum shaped into arcing, morphing arrangements with a fine wrought narrative that could almost be considered an abstract opera or some intimate chamber dramaturgy written for one listener located within the arctic circle in the dead of night.
At times in the Ether Fields Forever you almost expect the vocals of John Balance to appear from stage left, whilst Vivid recalls the valerian ambient tone of Pinkcourtesyphone and Night Over Peak has us on the edge-of-the-seat with dread-filled anticipation for something that thankfully never manifests (aside form the daemons of your own conjuring). But it’s not all total gloom, in fact by the album’s end he resolves that high-line tension with more quixotic, teasing tones in the pizzicato pinpricks of Eemian and the glittering, hyaline prisms of Return to Mechanics.
Ultimately, it’s an album of proper, exploratory electronic sound and composition, revealing worlds and dimensions unknown thru application of rigorous research and painstaking sound design. If you know what we’re on about, it’s pretty unmissable.