Cryo Chamber, run by Atrium Carceri’s Simon Heath (amongst other projects), must be one of the greatest Drone / Ambient labels ever. I have never been disappointed by any release done via this source. So, it’s quite exciting when coming in touch with a project I have not heard any material of before. This is the case with Wordclock, a solo-outfit of very young Portuguese musician Pedro Pimentel. Apparently, Wordclock did release two albums via Cryo Chamber before, but since I did not listen to them (yet)…
So, Pedro recorded this new album in Porto, Berlin and London, ‘hunting’ […], as stated in the bio, ‘for the myths of old European sacred rites’. For this release, he got a helping hand from Phonothek’s George Shmanauri (Phonothek are on Cryo Chamber’s roster as well), Nuno Craveiro, and Amund Ulvestad, who collaborated on the former album too (Self Destruction Themes).
Heralds is a remarkable album, for it sounds unique to me. It is like a mingle of different angles from related classical musical styles, canalised into an own direction. The floating elegance of Dark Ambient, the darkness of Lovecraftian Drone, elements from Experimental, Contemporary Classical, Ethereal Ambient and dreamlike soundwaves, it’s all recomposed into a very typifying way. The main ideas are based on several hypnotic, dreamlike and / or post-dimensional keyboard layers, spiced up with fine cello melodies, jazzy injections (including trumpet), astral synth parts, subtle acoustic guitars, avantgarde piano, field recordings / samples and droning loops. Occasionally, even electronic inputs join the sonic journey.
Every single piece is different from any other, yet there is a cohesion for sure. Some tracks are jazzy in a Badalamenti-alike modus (Bell Ringing III, for example, with those minimal percussions and somewhat erotising trumpet melodies, the experimental creation Where Marcy Left – as if I’m sitting in a soft chair, a whisky in one hand, a Cuban hand-rolled cigar in the other, in an empty room with dark-red drapes, cold black-and-white stones on the floor, waiting for unknown things yet to come…), others are rather sacrificial and sombre (like Thames Does Flow or Bell Ringing II, with their mesmerizing melody), then again it breathes a spirit of ancient richness and mysticism (the varying title track, with its electronic beats, Jazz-infused trumpet and loungy percussions and keys, is a great example; so is the opening track, for example). There is a cinematic feel going on, as if Heralds could have been written as a soundtrack for a new Lynch movie, yet seen from a denser, and probably more enlightening, point of interest.