Next album from the Tropheth Prohpet label presents the Italian collaborative project, consisting of Federico Esposito and Mauro Sciaccaluga, that both originates from the hardcore punk-scene. In the UR-project, the two composers move into more introvert sound spheres of claustrophobic ambient noise. Containing four lengthy pieces of dark compositions, the expression is first of all built on thick drones that emerge from a combination of subdued noises, distant sounds of voices and industrial sounds. The atmosphere is apocalyptic and dark, with a psychedelic touch that sometimes reminds of earliest Pink Floyd thanks to the frequent use of distorted guitars and acid-like electronic soundscapes, especially on the final track “Happy hour (abattoir lounge)”. Where the first reviewed split-album was extremely upfront in style, this album demands for more deeply listening
Trieb is very satisfyingly grim, suffocating & dank excise in murky old school industrial, damed electro-acoustic, barren ambience and noise matter. As the album progresses you are pushed deeper and deeper into a subterranean, decaying and clanking hell hole.
The project was set up in 2003 by two Italians Federico Esposito and Mauro Sciaccaluga who Surprisingly are from a hardcore-punk background and have been in the following bands: Heartside, Never Was, Downright, Kafka & Stalker. There were joined in 2005 by Andrea Ferraris who has worked in many Italian hardcore, indie and post rock bands. Trieb is the projects third releases and the first wider available release after two ltd CDR releases. To create their sound the trio use a mix of; multiple electric bass’s, Theremin, violin, various pedals, cymbal and percussive matter, electronics and field recordings. Through out they managed to conjure up a very tangible nasty and brooding atmosphere that’s often dense airless and hopeless- full with clunking percussion, doomed black bass lines and general black/oppressive sonic matter. I can really see people who enjoy the likes of Wolf Eyes and The Skull Defekts at there more dense and suffocating really diging this.
Unforgiving in it’s grim, dank and nasty atmosphere yet hypnotic and bleakly compelling, Thrieb is a highly accomplished and rewarding ride- check out Ur myspace for a taster of Thrieb grim sonic fruits.
Ur is an Italian trio hailing from Genoa, and consisting of Federico Esposito, Mauro Sciaccaluga and Andrea Ferraris, who between them have musical backgrounds ranging from hardcore punk to experimental post-rock. Their fourth full-length Trieb, which is released on the Israeli experimental label Topheth Prophet, contains four lengthy tracks (lengths ranging from ten to 17 minutes) of improvisational drone-based ambient, with the instrumentation used including contact mics, violin, two bass guitars, pedals and effects, percussion, samples and field recordings, resulting in a nice balance between acoustic and electronic sounds, something like the Polish project Hati or the Swedish trio Keplers Odd (both reviewed elsewhere in Judas Kiss).
‘The Belly Of The Earth Is Open Wide’ opens with a steady siren-like oscillating tone underpinning deep shifting drones, the siren cutting through the bass and lending an air of tension and anxiety. Various metal percussion is heard, with a steady build in volume towards the middle of the track. Ur’s percussive approach is similar to that of Tomasz Krakowiak. Past the midpoint, the sound thins out into bleak mid-frequency drones punctuated by loose percussion, a bit like some Moljebka Pvlse or Beyond Sensory Experience. The mood of the track is uncomfortable, but not excessively dark. ‘Recurring Dream’ initially maintains a similar feel, with steady background drones overlaid with busy squalls of electronic pulses and shrill whistles, though the later half of the track is noisier and harsher, with drones flaring up into waves of muffled roaring and some heavily distorted vocals (I think) and chuckling discernible at points. ‘The Room Of Wounds’, the album’s longest track, is much calmer than its predecessors, opening with a steady low circuit hum and disconnected, reverberating bass guitar notes -this track especially reminded me of the guitar-based ambient drone of Keplers Odd. After a few minutes of this low-key approach, the sound thickens slightly with the addition of some background drone, but the desultory plucked bass continues, interspersed with metallic scrapings and rumbles. There are indiscernible processed vocals and mysterious rattling sounds. The track has an exhausted, desolate feel to it. The closing track ‘Happy Hour (Abattoir Lounge)’ has fewer incidental noises, being more concerned with Nordvargr-style smoothly overlapping layers of drones and thin, attenuated shards of feedback.
Ur’s blend of avant-garde experimental rock jams with drone-based black ambient appeals on a number of different fronts, though I like the tracks with percussion more than the ones without. Trieb is a limited-edition CD release of 300 copies, and it comes in an oversize black and white card sleeve, which opens right to left, Hebrew-style.
Ur is a fairly new industrial music project having been formed in early 2005 by Italian musicians Federico Esposito and Mauro Sciaccaluga. Since the inception of the project Andrea Ferraris has joined the ranks of Ur flushing out the all Italian crew. Drawing upon the experience of these three accomplished musicians Ur transcends musical boundaries allowing each musician to draw upon their previous experience in the multifaceted Italian hardcore, industrial and power electronics scene.
Ur’s musical identity can be traced back to the origins of industrial music as it emerged in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s through the visions of such bands as Throbbing Gristle, SPK and Non. Like these early industrial music pioneers Ur also emphasizes musical improvisations and has likewise utilized live music events to further develop and explore the projects sound and identity. Like many of their old school industrial peers Ur also seeks to pair the musical side of their project with the feral and unpredictable aspects of improvisational exploration. Trieb is the fourth commercial release by Ur following previous albums released on the emerging Romanian label Mask Of Slave and the ever prolific Italian label Afe Records. Trieb sees Ur partnering with Israeli allies Topeth Prophet records who have become established as one of Israel’s premier industrial labels. This cross cultural global partnership is testimony to the diversity and friendship that pervades the international industrial scene.
The music on Trieb is heavily influenced by improvisation and lends itself to rather long songs the shortest being just over ten minutes and the longest track running well over seventeen minutes. The improvisational nature of some elements of the music make good use of the generous song length and the song length also adds to the feeling of listening to a more organic live performance rather than a studio recording. The four songs that comprise the album are built around elements of dark ambient, industrial, drone, and power electronics with no one element becoming too dominate. Instrumentation and sound sources range wildly from such traditional acoustic elements as bass guitar and violin to more abstract media such as field recordings, samples, mic techniques and the ever present array of effects and modifications. The resulting sound is quite holographic and three dimensional in stereo though I found the same quality lacking when I listened on moderate priced headphones. The mixture of electronics and acoustic generated sounds makes for an interesting mix of contrasting elements at play.
Trieb begins with the opening song “The Belly Of The Earth Is Open Wide” which begins with a oscillating sound wave that creates an unsettling atmosphere of cold tension. Slow waves of crescendoing dark ambience emerge from the background and traces of the bass strings can be heard amidst the swelling waves giving the sound an acoustic signature and a bit of warmth. This union of electric and acoustic sound continues to evolve while high pitch tones erupt and fade and distorted voices struggle to break free from the dominance of the background ambience before being consumed whole by the rumbling jumbled waves of bass. Random sounds are mixed in throughout the length of the song as the emphasis remains on atmosphere and the creation of a subterranean mood. The music contorts and evolves unsettled and frenetic sounding like the creaking haul of an abandoned freight ship and some half dead mechanical animal in death throes all at once. There is an authentic sense of psychic darkness as if the authors of the music are intentionally delving into less explored aspects of both music and psyche. I found that on my home stereo at medium volume the music was completely engulfing and I found myself fully immersed for the entire thirteen plus minutes of this lengthy song.
“Recurring Dream” follows the nocturnal visions of its predecessor with muted industrial sounds and disjointed sounds that slowly build in volume as the song takes shape. The song structure begins rather loose and improvisational compared to the more predictable nature of the previous track. Immediately noticeable is the random nature of the sounds and the inconsistency in the pairing of sounds. The previous emphasis on flow has been abandoned for a far more complex attempt at pairing diverse and much more angular sounds into a common soundscape. Sounds are roughly layered upon one another only occasionally finding cadence. There is also a more aggressive tone to the music that is more akin to the power electronics scene than its dark ambient or industrial cousins. The music excellerates into a powerful improvisational journey that at times is fluid and engaging and at others challenging and dominating. The use of some old school oscillating effects and the shear force of some of the sounds will give some familiarity to industrial and power electronics listeners but the over all mixing of the cocktail is rather signature to Trieb albeit not totally original.
“The Room Of Wounds ” opens with a very improvisational beginning that grabbed my interest immediately. Here we hear something distinctly not industrial, dark ambient or power electronics in nature. drawing upon a more electro-acoustic approach Trieb deliver a sonic adventure filled with layers of carefully placed sounds that create a jagged musical narrative that feels at once delicate and imaginative. The heavy handed approach of earlier songs is abandoned as sounds are placed far apart on the sound stage with plenty of room between. Instruments and samples have clear distinction allowing for a truly three dimensional sound stage in which the listener feels as if they are in the studio with the artists. The music takes on an almost ritual tone in its careful construction with random sounds giving way to one another with some twisting and howling while others mumble and rumble. The the sound of bass strings and scraping metal are expertly paired alongside random mic feeds and industrial static. While one musical element drones on meditatively another contorts through spasms of distortion. The resulting tapestry is primal and immersive. Half way through the song you barely notice almost ten minutes have passed. Ur takes the listener out of the delicate bliss of the first half of the song and administers a bit of pain the second half by migrating the song into a denser stew of sound driven by industrial drones and darker musical elements that abandon the airy expanses of the first half and take the listener into more murky musical waters for a dark ending.
The last rack of four titled “Happy Hour (Abattoir Lounge)” begins with a rumbling background of industrial unrest and various high pitch drones cresting over the surface of the industrial rumblings. The mood is once again cold and a bit technical like the moments at an industrial show when the musician heads into self indulgent playing leaving the audience behind. The sound here is challenging and will be easier to digest for noise and power electronics fans. I found my tolerance wavering as the song progressed as musical punishment isn’t quite my thing. There is a true sense of distress and discomfort communicated through the music with the high pitched layers continuing to build into an almost unbearable wall of squealing sound. The only redeeming element the listener has to hold onto is the fluctuating rumblings of the obscure bass in the background of the song. Near the end of this epic track voices get thrown into the blender with the rest of the sounds but they don’t add much to the song in terms of substance as the lyrics are completely indistinguishable. “Happy Hour (Abattoir Lounge)” brings the album to a close with a very noisy finale.
Trieb is definitely recommended for those looking to explore the hybridization that is currently occurring in the industrial music scene. Its refreshing to see musicians breaking down genre boundaries and exploring music for the sake of music instead of making music for a specific music scene or genre. This emphasis on musical hybridization and improvisation may be challenging for some listeners but for those of us who have neared exhausting many of the familiar genres Trieb will be welcomed as innovators who are striving to define the new direction of industrial music bringing it back home to its roots while freeing it from the confines of genre restriction at the same time.
The Topheth Prophet label is relatively new (started around 2002) and, most special, hails from Israel! This label promotes the local noise scene to be heard in to the rest of the world. Didn’t know they had a noise community there. The focus of this label is in the noise, power electronics and dark-ambient field.
Ur is actually an Italian project from Federico Esposito, Mauro Sciaccaluga and Andrea Ferraris (who came in later), with their first release in 2005.
The music and aesthetic of Ur is very much grounded in the industrial origins of the 70’s and relies a lot on improvisation. Though it’s nice to know were they are coming from with their music, it does from time to time drags along. The album consists of four songs, with each around 15 minutes in length, and for some of the tracks, that’s pretty long. It’s all nicely done but I miss some tension those bands in the 70’s did have. I think it’s more interesting to see them perform live. Not that this is a bad album in any way, but I miss some real inventive touches. The album just goes and then stops, and doesn’t have a real standout moment. It’s a nice release, but nothing too special. But time will tell with their next output.