CONSOR: Tumult (Creaked Records)


Posted on May 30th 2011 11:44 pm

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Consor: Tumult

Creaked Records 2011
12 Tracks. 62mins38secs

Amazon UK: CD

Following a first EP, released back in 2005, Swiss multi-instrumentist Samuel Vaney joined the Lausanne-based Creaked Record stable and published his debut album as Consor. While he used a variety of acoustic and electric instruments on the record, Vaney’s relentless processing and use of field recordings and electronic textures gave the album a strong electronic identity. With Tumult, this is greatly tempered by a much more extensive use of guitars in their natural form, right from opening track Escapism, which casts sparse atmospheric electronics in a much rawer rock set up, where electric guitars and drums form the backbone of the piece. This is declined in a variety of ways throughout the album, from the heavy handed and over-saturated Rusty Handcuffs and dense shoegaze spaces of A Long Peaceful Journey or King Of Kings to the moody pop of In The Mist and the fluid ambient formations of Hoarfrost and Nova Stella.

Not only does Vaney uses electric guitars to build dense walls of sound, but he also works at much more minute level when he concentrates on distortion or saturation, magnifying the grainy aspect of the latter in particular and placing them into resolutely electronic clusters of noise and sound. This is most prevalent in some of the more ambient pieces, where he drown them in shoegaze haze. A Long Peaceful Journey or Early Leaves are vast ethereal pieces where sounds, wrapped in layers of effects, have had their edges ground down, leaving only the core noise formation.

Vaney hasn’t however totally abandoned the stark electronic soundscapes that he pioneered on Mesantropia. The seismic thuds which punctuate the opening of Escapism or the epic Ayako, the refined soundscapes of Nova Stella or Vinter Sol or the field recordings and mock-orchestral flourishes of Old Oak are all fine examples of what Vaney can do when he invites the machines to step forward.

By willingly spreading himself across such a wide spectrum, Vaney loses sight of the bigger picture slightly. While this juxtaposition of disparate elements creates some interesting situations, Tumult feels a much more disjointed and less coherent proposition than its predecessor. Where on Mesantropia, he was feeding his machines with raw sounds and purposely bending them out of shape, he drives a much less imaginative and slightly tired creative process here. For sure, the compositions show a certain level of expertise, but this ultimately lacks a natural organic flow and ends up feeling somewhat lacklustre.


Consor | Creaked Records
Amazon UK: CD

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