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Aanipaa – “Through a Pre-memory” – [Editions Mego]


Aanipaa is a collaboration between American drone doom guitarist Stephen O’Malley (Sunn O))), Khanate, Burning Witch, Thorr’s Hammer, Lotus Eaters, Gravetemple) and Finnish electronic savant Mika Vainio (Pan Sonic). This 2013 album is the project’s first release. The basis of the sound is created by Vainio’s distorted programmed beats and tones in conjunction with O’Malley’s trademark amplifier-worshipping ax racket; guests also provide viola, contrabass, cello and tape manipulations, and O’Malley’s former Khanate bandmate Alan Dubin (now in Gnaw) materializes on t.s 1+4 to screech poetry by Russian Modernist Anna Akhmatova, providing the only vocals on the record. Elements of industrial metal, drone doom and dark ambient can be found in these four carefully produced pieces, recorded in Berlin at Einsturzende Neubauten’s studio. Each passes through several distinct movements, and so it is difficult to generalize about their sounds but: despite occasional meanders into atmospheric territory, t.s 1+4 are the more metal-oriented, with tweaked and torturously slogging drum machine (similarities to contemporaries Corrections House?), plenty of beefy guitar chords and feedback. T.2 sounds more dominated by Vainio’s influence, with soundscape, death industrial and perhaps industrial techno elements in the vein of Godflesh or Author & Punisher (although the rhythm in question only lasts a few minutes). Almost percussion-free t.3 is a really excellent piece of sleepwalking power drone, alternately soothing and harsh– probably still the area where both composers are most in their element. It’s my favorite composition on here. Taken as a whole, this release is not really metal, not really drone and not really industrial or electronica; it’s just a trippy, massive listen. They want me to tell you that “MAXIMUM VOLUME YIELDS MAXIMUM RESULTS.”

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on January 14, 2014 at 2:28 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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