Boomkat Product Review:
Arcane, serpentine post-punk and etheric neofolk gems from the shadows of the late ‘80s and mid ’90s surface on Stroom
Pairing works by Stephanie Payne’s obscure project, Dark Arts with Malka Spiegel's legendary Minimal Compact, Stroom make an apt comparison between the acts’ shared grasp of mood and space on ‘Songs of Earth’.
Dark Arts’ works come from her 1995 album ’Something Once Whispered To Cava’, as released by School For Berberian Music. ’Songs of Earth and Sky’ locks in a slow clash of glinting metallic percussion and flutes that conjure a sense of sleepwalking into battle, while ‘Jola Dool’ feels to echo Muslimgauze’s more etheric, less noisy, work of the same era with its drifting choral drones and lilting rhythmelodic cadence.
Minimal Compact’s pair from 1987’s ‘Lowlands Flight’ album are very much of a skool shared by the likes of The Cocteau Twins, Pump and Vazz during that era; toiling cold, reverberating drum machines and gut-revving bassline with keening bittersweet dissonance in the masterful ‘Low Flight’, and slinking off down the darkest vein of Robin Guthrie-like guitar enquiry in the icy negative ecstasy of ‘The Conference of Snakes’.