steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Croatan Ensemble

"Without" CDR


Genre: experimental, drone, ambient

Andromeda Galaxy

May 8, 2009

Croatan Ensemble's Bill K and Iason P devise dark, pulsing drone music -- the sort of sonic mash that might emanate out of the walls of a David Cronenberg film. Seamlessly merging acoustic and electronic elements, these six tracks revel in their haunting and completely alienating madness, washing over the listener in an odious haze of bass n' hum. The result is unequivocally impressive -- an avant-drone epic perfectly suited for pitch-dark listening.

The beauty of Without is that, despite being comprised of six relatively lengthy, gradually-evolving compositions, it maintains a firm grip on the listener's attention. This stuff is simply too intense to distract yourself from. Whether it's the shuddering fuzz of an overcharged electrical box, or the deafening onslaught of sound-waves projected off ocean floors, this record grabs you by the collar, sits you down, and pushes you into a hallucinatory state. If you're a dronehead like me, you'll want to learn all there is to know about the Croatan Ensemble; sadly, up until now, this seems to be the only thing they've done.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2008]