K100 – The Vault of Apparitions CD Neuropa Records/ Unreality 2010
To introduce K100 to the unfamiliar, it is an obscure project operating within the field of dark ambience, although sole project member Kim Solve is likely to be better recognised for his other industrial act Blitzkrieg Baby. With K100 Kim has opted to focus on the more subtle and abstract side of musical expression, which nicely counterbalances the militant industrial bombast of Blitzkrieg Baby.
Although ‘The Vault of Apparitions’ contains 12 compositions (spanning 51 minutes), as is often the case with this type of music it is best appreciated as a singular composition / body of work. Thus from the album’s opening moments the atmosphere is hollow, distant and ominous, where low mechanised humming textures merge with sub orchestral drones. As the album progresses it becomes entirely apparent that this is also dark ambience of the deep shafts and subterranean caverns typology. Here the tonal reverberations of cavernous spaces mingle with other textures that sonically articulate the low distant rumble of far of thunder (…or perhaps some other far worse nameless entity lurking in the depths). But far from being all drone and drift, there are occasional vague metallic rhythmic tones intermixed with the yawning catacomb bass tones. Likewise further sonic variety is achieved through other tonal elements such as ritual gongs / chimes and a Tibetan thigh bone horn, where the drawling horn note of the later instrument bleeds out into widescreen textural drones.
Broadly subtle in texture – like a dank fog which slowly creeps over the landscape – ‘The Vault of Apparitions’ sits within stalking and suspenseful soundtrack territory. Also with the organic feel imbedded within the deep bass drones, the result has a partial affinity with the ritual drone works of the Aural Hypnox label collective. Given its abstract and subtle nuances ‘The Vault of Apparitions’ is not an album of immediate impact. Rather it is an understated slow burner, where the key to unlocking its rewards are patience and detailed attention.