Skorneg – Foehn CD Malignant Records 2014
Skorneg are a new signing to the rapidly expanding Malignant roster, with the project being a collaboration between Frédéric Arbour (Visions member and Cylic Law label boss) and Christian Corvellec (of another Canadian project Skinwall whom are unknown to these ears). Regarding their particular style Skorneg articulate a ‘barren galactic landscapes’ to ‘vast deep space’ type of dark ambience, here featuring 4 tracks which sprawl over an expanse of 43 minutes.
Whilst the initial impression of the tonal scope is one of a gargantuan universal scale, evidently the album’s inspiration is far more earthbound based on its thematic context of: “the northern elements of Glaciers, Winds and the exploration of such rugged territories, both physically, intellectually and spiritually”. Regardless of any ‘mind’s eye’ visual impressions evoked, ‘Fohen’ skilfully conveys animated and multilayered textural dark ambience, where each of the four tracks are constructed with deep, drifting and swelling sub-orchestral drones which are propelled forwards with churning and driving undercurrent. They also follow a similar compositional approached by setting down a minimalist structure and then gradually build and morph their sound over their expanse (each ranging in length from 9-12 minutes).
In order to articulate the overarching feel of ‘Foehn’, this could be creatively described by quoting the title of one of Inade’s tracks, being: ‘The Engine of Space’ given the use of subtle, almost mechanised rhythms. This reference also functions as a further descriptive link given the material on this album begs a passing comparison to the less composed and more flowing and abstract style of Inade. Interesting the second track ‘Serac’ quite clearly stands out from other album tracks, where the piece builds upon a cyclic swirling structure, before elevating significantly at around the 3 minute with slow booming galactic horns and muted driving and rhythmic electronic programming.
Without dwelling on the point ‘Foehn’ will be a solid and satisfying release for dark ambient music devotees, but then again this is almost expected given the pedigree of those involved – i.e. the Cyclic Law label boss and released on Malignant Records.