Review : Natural Snow Buildings - Waves of the Random Sea
TinymixtapesFor over a decade, the duo of Mehdi Ameziane and Solange Gularte have been exporting ritualistic folk and occult drones from Vitré, France. Whether together as Natural Snow Buildings or solo as Twinsistermoon or Isengrind (respectively), the two have always been a cult phenomena. However, in recent years, their audience has expanded. With how much devotion the two put into each release (handcrafted designs, accompanying comic books, etc.) and a gargantuan oeuvre, it's easy to see why such earnest, genuine musicians appeal beyond the most out-there droners.
To say Natural Snow Buildings are prolific is an understatement. In 2008 alone, they released five CD-Rs, two 3-inch CDs, two cassettes, a compilation, and a reissue, most of which spanned several hours. But with such a swift release pace, creative stagnancy has always been a concern among their fans. And as of late, many seem terrified of such a prospect. Ever since 2009's Shadow Kingdom, fans have been quietly decrying homogeneity, even though most of the group's releases have been met with praise. So it's no surprise that their newest release Waves Of The Random Sea has invoked an even louder pre-release clamoring.
Waves is composed of six tracks (with seven on the LP) spread across nearly 80 minutes. Opting primarily for extended drones (of both improvised and composed origins), the structure best resembles 2008's 3CD-R Night Coercion Into The Company Of Witches, in which the long durations permit introspection and self-contained evolution. This is in stark contrast to 2006's The Dance Of The Moon And The Sun, the group's unanimous watermark and obvious point of reference for critical fans, which married brief, tender vocal-based tracks with the best kind of drum circle jams....full text
Brainwashed"Stunning new record from Natural Snow Buildings, the collaborative project between Mehdi Ameziane and Solange Gularte, the minds behind Twinsistermoon and Isengrind respectively. This new epic from the French duo is their first physical release since 2009's well received Shadow Kingdom, also issued by us here at Blackest Rainbow, and it follows on from 2010's download only The Centauri Agent and both Twinsistermoon and Isengrind full length LPs. So 2010 has been a relatively quiet year for Natural Snow Buildings in comparison to 2008 and 2009. Mehdi and Solange have been working on 'Waves of the Random Sea' for us for quite sometime, both in terms of art and audio, and it really has come together beautifully. Solange has created a truly stunning series of artworks that spread across the 4 panels of the gatefold sleeve, and the music is a gorgeous tapestry of dreamy drone blurred with their enchanting ethereal folk balladry. This release continues to show how important every aspect of a Natural Snow Buildings release means to them, I was blown away by the standard of the music and artwork. Pressed on heavyweight virgin vinyl, and housed in a beautiful gatefold sleeve featuring artwork by Solange. The vinyl edition features an extra track not on the CD and all tracks in their entirety."...full text
SputnikmusicThere is a certain beauty in nothingness. Given the cluttered lives that we all lead, with our eyes locked into some form of electrical stimulus for the entirety of our day to day activities, and even then our leisure is normally spent in front of a television or at a movie, watching people act out entirely arbitrary events for a chuckle or the hint of a tear, it's hard to find moments where we are truly enveloped by natural sounds. Here's where Natural Snow Buildings come in. Their newest album in their ridiculously expansive catalog channels the sounds and emotions of the serene calm that comes from those rare moments of escape. Waves of the Random Sea floats peacefully, ever aware that our hectic schedules could intrude on the tranquility of it all, so it makes every second shine in a resplendent glow. It makes it that much easier to tune out all the pent up stress of modern living and take in the here and now, breathing it in and pushing it out in time with the pensive drone.
For those that have yet to venture into the esoteric world of psychedelic drone, Natural Snow Buildings have been making ethereal minimalistic soundscapes since the late 90's and to be quite frank, you'd be hard pressed to find a better band in the genre. Their sparse movements traverse the gamut of human emotions, and the songs contained on Waves of the Random Sea continue to explore new crevices of the human psyche. It begins by beckoning the listener with an inviting calm; simple guitar melodies and even a few siren-esque vocals open the door but dark clouds hang on the horizon. Over the course of the album, Natural Snow Buildings take the listener on an inward journey, exposing the skeletons in even the darkest of closets with every stroke of droning keys. The longer you let it take you by the hand and lead you down the path, the more unnerving the picture is that it paints.
Being the layered, introverted listen that it is, Natural Snow Buildings' Waves of the Random Sea is not going to appeal to everyone, and even those who are open to the road it leads down will see this as a mood album. It won't always be the most listened to album, but when the time comes for it, there are few pieces that are this affecting....full text
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