Boomkat Product Review:
CdB’s creative 2nd wind continues to blow away the breakcore shackles and reveal a tempestuous, gothic avant-classical spirit under the hood with a magisterial new opus ft. operatic vox by Antonina Nowacka
While the vestiges of Christoph de Babalon’s mucky ‘90s birth in breakcore still litter ‘Vale’, the album presses on along vectors of horror cinematic invention that have broodingly defined his return to the fray over the past decade. The skeletal breaks are now often suppressed, slower and splayed, taking a backseat to arrangements of sampled instrumentation, synthetic bass, and the soaring vocal theatrics of Antonina Nowacka, who was a crucial presence as part of WIDT in their CdB collaboration ‘Teyas’ (2018). Ultimately the sound feels more grown up from the goth-punkish nature and rhetoric of albums such as his classic ‘If You’re Into It, I’m Out of It’, moving on from bedsit glower to full haunted house or raved-out abandoned Victorian asylum situation.
“After cultivating his own sound for over 30 years, de Babalon has continually expanded his sonic trajectory throughout the last few years via a series of noteworthy release on labels such as Alter, A Colorful Storm and AD 93. Now he presents his most encompassing album to date via Vale, an hour long phantasmagoric onslaught showcasing the full spectrum of de Babalon’s radical, menacing and inimitable style.
One thing that becomes clear from the get-go when diving into Vale, is that it’s imbued with an air of restraint and forbearance, underscored by the many languishing voices and opaque, ominous ambient passages. These include the collaborative two piece ‘Arrethan’ with Polish singer and producer Antonina Nowacka, who previously made waves with her uncanny yet divine choral songs on her own album ‘Lamunan’, as well as pieces like ‘Good Morning, You Worm’, 'Demon Glue’ and ‘Denn Sie Sind Hünen’ which verge from the blissfully eerie to being suspended in a shadowy realm governed by sinister resonance.”