Boomkat Product Review:
Welcome return of ‘80s/‘90s enigma Dark Arts to Stroom with a byzantine neofolk mystery backed by a roiling percussive maelstrom - RIYL Anna Homler’s Breadwoman, Laszlo Hortobagyi, Ka Baird
Leading on from 2020’s ‘Reflections in a Rear View Mirror’ compilation, this one follows suit with cuts taken from a pair of 1995 releases that also highlight Stephanie Payne aka Dark Arts’ mastery of ritualist, atmospheric storytelling.
Taken from the album ’Something Once Whispered to Cava’, and appearing on vinyl and download for first time, ‘Song Of Earth And Sky’ rolls out waves of crashing drums around wistful woodwind, laced with glossolalic vox that snake around its intro before its elegiac figure comes into full view in the 2nd half, recalling to us the enigma of Dark Arts’ sometime collaborator Anna Homler and the lysergic allure of Ka Baird.
From a little known 7” of (nearly) the same name, ‘Lola Dool’ brings the vocals forward in the mix against intensely layered percussion, almost reminding of a sped up answer to Basquiat’s Gray at times, or even the swingeing percussive dervishes of Christos Chondropoulos.