Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Vatican Shadow - Ornamented Walls (Modern Love)

AK-AK-AK! WHAM! THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP-THUMP! Vatican Shadow, cutting through your ear canal like an Apache Longbow helicopter. Strafing neural networks as he goes, Dominick Fernow  takes no prisoners. His mission: secure your psyche and make it his. A one-man infantry who’s carried out more sonic sorties than most over the last year, Fernow now moves to Modern Love as a platform for his latest assault. Arabic text, military portraits, titles from press headlines; from this peculiar framework a quasi-mythological canon is created. How long can he keep this up? For as long as war rages, probably, and that should be for some time.

Jordanian military songs on worn tape shimmer through static like mirages in the desert, a howling electronic storm of sound, enough to make you delirious as beats clang and clatter – total war on tape. The three parts of 'Operation Neptune Spear' fire up a tour de force of fractured sound skirmishes, incomplete missions that whiff of cordite and corrosion yet are utterly captivating.

Taking Luigi Russolo for his word, Fernow breaks the circle of pure sound and conquers the infinite variety of ‘noise sound’. Hitching it to the running gear of rhythm differentiates him from pure noise merchants, and weapons in his sonic armoury vary in tone and tempo, yet all come beautifully soiled. He operates by stealth as well as shock and awe. You might say the muted atmosphere of 'India Has Just Tested A Nuclear Device' sounds like the heartbeats of tormented souls contemplating the terrible potential of their creation having just witnessed it’s deadly force, but I wouldn't, for fear of being considered pretentious.

The city of a thousand minarets remains haunted, followed here by 'Nightforce Scopes', a magnificently predatory exercise in escalating menace, filtered through dub that’s finally devoured in a maelstrom of noise. I'm tempted to call Ornamented Walls his best work yet, but with simultaneous operations under way (such as the epic techno grandeur of 'Jordanian Descent') Fernow attacks on all fronts, and with equal force. At this rate, we’ll all need a long spell of R&R to recover.

1 comment:

  1. At this rate, we’ll all need a long spell of R&R to recover from the boredom pushed down our throats by the usual suspects...


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