Saturday, 29th April 2017. 11:34:21am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Experimental, IDM, Glitch Pandora's Black Book- Black Brothel


ARTIST: Pandora's Black Book

ALBUM: Black Brothel

LABEL: Tympanik Audio

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 5-29-10

 

Pandora's Black Book is the side project of James Church, best known for his work as the producer behind rhythmic noise act Lucidstatic. Here, he's more subdued, less pummeling, but if the beats are quieter than his work as Lucidstatic, the atmospheres are, if anything, even more oppressive. Opening with the looped mutterings and tentative analogue stabs of "Handless," the album immediately establishes a mood of nervous anticipation; "Dark Passenger" is similarly quiet and haunting, synthesizers layered in minor-key harmonies while tension builds beneath. While most of the tracks here feature beats of some form or another, most often breakbeats or muted drum 'n' bass loops, it's the atmosphere surrounding them that makes this album so memorable, and that oppressive sense of darkness never quite lets up. Whether it's melodies, as on trip-hop track "Adverse" with its sparse pianos and languid female vocals, or simple sound effects, as on "Mr. Hidden" with its Geiger counter clicks, every note and every beat and every muffled click contributes to a gestalt of ill-defined dread, the musical equivalent of what H.P. Lovecraft was attempting to do with his short stories. Lucidstatic merely leaves you feeling like you've been beaten up; with Pandora's Black Book, it's the anticipation that gets to you, and by the end of the album you'll be jumping at every shadow.

For more information about this project, visit the Pandora's Black Book MySpace page at www.myspace.com/pandorasblackbook.


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