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Camecrude – Enclave I (digital release review)

Did you really think we’re gonna move to something more melodic? Nah, that’s not gonna happen anytime soon (or it might, one never knows here).

Not too long ago I’ve received a digital copy of this album from Cioran Records to review and today is the day I’m gonna put my trusty Betron headphones on and let myself get surprised.

Camecrude’s is unexpectedly captivating, 6 long tracks being a mixture of darkwave, ambient and noise elements creating a strange sounding, haunting atmosphere.

Emil Cioran, the Romanian philosopher

With the spoken word starting the opening track “A l’Endarrèr çò de Maudit” we are transferred into the world of Valentin Laborde, the man behind Camecrude, and Emil Cioran, a Romanian philosopher I have never heard about, who was Valentin’s inspiration.

The first song itself starts like a beeping machine lost in the darkness, its beeping the only lead connecting the listener to the “sanity” of the world we live in…until it’s overwhelmed by the darkness itself, coming in the form of haunting melody and that beautiful vocal – but does it belong to a beautiful person or a demon from the other world? That’s the feeling and the goosebumps are the genuine response to this atmosphere which drowns in the sea of noise and beeps. Listening to this through the earphones is the experience which is hard to describe. I’d argue even a person not normally listening to stuff like this has to appreciate the atmosphere here. And the French language just fits into it. Don’t know why, as normally I am not really into the French language.

“Désarticulation du Temps” is another stage in this journey. It’s not a journey “to hell and back” as some might expect. This journey is into the nothingness, where all disappears. And this might be its soundtrack, the dissonant notes being presented with the electric drill. The heaviness here is almost unbearable, the chaos rises, catching the listeners into its claws and whispering its crazy messages into the brain of the unfortunate ones. But how can one escape something so fascinating?

“Te Dobti”, the second longest song on the album (10:25) provides enough time for the soundscapes to unravel and Laborde doesn’t waste any second. The French female choir again evokes the uneasiness and flickering images through my mind bring up the medieval Satanic rituals, the witchcraft and the hopelessness of the ages, but it’s gone almost as quickly as it’s appeared, replaced by dark, but liberating passage of sounds, creating the ambient, darkwave atmosphere…but the voice! The voice lurks behind the sounds, speaking in – for me – unintelligible language something, which only can be malevolent…the cacophony reminds me of mad soundtracks to anything Lovecraft has put into his stories, and indeed, I think he might actually appreciate this as a fitting. The incantations of those females come to the abrupt end changing to the noise introducing us to another song…

…and that song is “Mesure de la Souffrance”. Again, I don’t understand French, so I don’t know what was spoken, but I understand the music. Or the lack of it. But what is abundant, is the noise. The crude, insisting noise in the form of alarm of sorts, it’s like to let you know you’re not gonna find any consolation and rest here. And yes, it’s not gonna stop, on the contrary. The endurance of the listener is not tested by the harsh noise walls – it’s being overwhelmed by the avalanche of sounds. And that alarm!!! That alarm!!! The harshness intensifies and the end of the song is just one hell of the noise, until it’s defeated by the liberating drone humming.

The longest track on the album is “L’Ombre de Soi”, 10 minutes and 30 seconds long insane hurdy gurdy symphony with droning and female voices, again creating the unbelievable atmosphere which has to be heard to be believed. With a base firmly established, the sound layers are slowly changing and bringing more chaotic features into the play. I’m thinking about all I’ve read about going insane, about all those abstract paintings of mad geniuses…and that’s it. Laborde is either mad or genius – or maybe both, but the material he creates is simply captivating, thanks to those ambient layers evoking the (pseudo)medieval atmosphere, that twisted grandeur of broken porcelain dolls and abandoned asylums.

Strangely, this song is different. Despite it’s bleak and threatening opening, the ending, although being a harsh noise, is somewhat evoking the feeling of freedom. The light in the end of the tunnel. The way out of nothingness.

The last song of this album is “Variations sur la Mort”. Also, not the shortest one with its 9:21 of length, it’s as the unseen terror is losing its power, the grip loosens, but the madness is relentless. The harsh noise waves attack again and again, bringing with them the possessed shrieks of those unnamed victims of it, just calling you to join them in their macabre dances of death and suffering. And the insanity lasts to the very final second of the album.

If you want to hear my result – “Enclave I” is fantastic. It’s chaotic – the maelström of mixture of drone humming, noise, the vocals, the disharmonies…it’s the ritual of damnation being transmitted through the speakers. But it’s immensely captivating.

And it goes without saying this music is not for everyone. Just as philosophy is not understood by the masses, the same applies to art. And that’s coming from me – I am not claiming any superior knowledge, definitely not in the realm of philosophy.

Nevertheless, if you are into the noise, harsh noise, ambient, darkwave and experimental music as a whole, you can’t afford to pass this album over. That’s a fact.

Available here: https://cioranrecords.bandcamp.com/album/enclave-i

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Rudolf Schütz

A father to two little perpetuum mobiles called kids, Rudolf is a main force behind The Rubber Axe webzine, a bookworm, musick lover and a movie fan - not to mention his virgin forays into the comics and board/card games.

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