Aural Hypnox – Underworld Transmissions I / Underworld Transmissions II

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Aural Hypnox – Underworld Transmissions I MC Aural Hypnox 2014

Aural Hypnox – Underworld Transmissions II MC Aural Hypnox 2014

Through the newly launched ‘Underworld Transmissions’ series the Aural Hypnox label has been turned into an ‘artist/ project’ of sorts through the use of an intriguingly conceptual device. Thus in words of the label: “Underworld Transmissions is Aural Hypnox label series, filmed and captured on tape in the private séances held in our subterranean lodge located in Oulu, Northern Ostrobothnia. The concept is to invite artists from the Helixes collective, in different combinations, to join a séance and through sound and movement to establish an elemental communication. In greater sense, apart from personal goals, the séances aim to bring forth the seasonal currents of the lodge; the undertone of the Aural Hypnox label and the artists involved”. Due to its apparent improvisational nature, the musical output of both cassette’s sits more at the abstract end of label’s discography and in sonic terms this is possibly most comparable to the minimalist style of Aural Holograms (a lone album was released by Aural Hypnox back in 2007).

On ‘Underworld Transmission I’, the first side of the tape features ‘Séance I/2013 (November 2013)’ and is a composition of deep subterranean atmospheres, slow sustained drones generated by sparse bowed and blown instruments. Additionally some distant chants appear to mark the path, and assist in evoking a minimalist meditative aura. ‘Séance I/2014 (January 2014)’ takes up the second side, and although still minimalist in style is slightly more animated, with a mid-pointed tonal range and wavering notes looping in a non-melodious patterns. Of these two séance offerings (and specifically when considered as an audio document) this is somewhat less engaging.

Moving onto ‘Underworld Transmission II’, ‘Séance II/2014 (March 2014)’ is captured on the first side of the tape. The track takes a short moment to get going but quickly elevates into a heavily cinematic, ritual ambient soundscape. Although drones form the compositional backbone, tense and urgent abstract sounds sweep and pan through the speakers, coupled with sustained atonal horn and string notes which rise to elevated crescendos of almost modern classical proportions (Penderecki certainly comes to mind in the later more animated sections of the piece). ‘Séance III/2014 (April, 2014)’ is then found on the second side, evoking a dank catacomb atmosphere with slow pounding ritualised thump, buried chants and abstract scraping/ creaking textural sounds, which at its sonic peak is not too far from a death industrial style. Great in other words.

With each release being limited to a mere 50 copies, the professional duplicated tapes are packaged is in a small fold out cardboard box, with a 10 panel booklet of sigils and séance associated images. Whilst musically these are at the slightly more abstract end for the Aural Hypnox Collective, nevertheless these releases clearly constitute special collectible obscurities which are destined to be highly sought after by label fanatics.  However for those not interested in the physical aspect of these releases, each séance has been published with an accompanying ritualised video which can be viewed via on Aural Hypnox’s website.

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