VA: Fabriksampler Vol. 2

Fabriksampler Vol. 2 is tailor-made for those whose ambient taste runs towards the nightmarish end of the spectrum. Industrial, drone, noise, and ambient collide in the collection's eleven exclusives, with Justin Broadrick and Mick Harris among the contributors. The fifty-three-minute compilation is presented in a travelogue format, with one piece flowing into the next. In addition, its sequencing is rather circular in design with drone ambient settings framing the more aggressive inner pieces, the effect much like a peaceful sleep state that grows agitated during REM periods before returning to calm prior to waking.

Final, a project started by Broadrick in 1982, begins the trip with the ominous “4am Internal” and its reverberant sheets of processed electric guitar, percussive colour, and atmospheric textures, and then passes the baton to Slovenia's PureH whose radioactive “Kogel” entraps the listener within a harrowing underworld of seething winds and disembodied voices. Belgrade-based WoO, who generates his material using guitars, effects pedals, and assorted devices (e.g., magnets, mobile phones, radio, etc.) extends the established mood with crackling swirls and grimy loops in “Life Bloom,” after which the pulsation of a kick drum lends some semblance of normalcy to Osaka improviser Go Tsushima's space exploration “Mu.” Perpetuating the disturbing ambiance, Left Eye Dominant (John Graeme Morris) merges rambunctious kit drumming with distorted voices and electronics in “Grande Hysterie,” and Sweden's Henrik Nordvargr Björkk smothers the garbled croak of a Gollum-like voice with black churning clouds in “Thyras Ande Och Arv.” The Cherry Blues Project (Argentinean duo Cherry and Blues who've supposedly issued 100 albums, and 150 singles and EPs) subsequently generates an immense cloud of industrial noise (“Stars”), after which the journey begins its return home with Sunao Inami's gloomy windsurfer “The End of Spiral” and Lull's (Mick Harris in Isolationist mode) frozen drone “The Gulley.” Fabriksampler Vol. 2 will definitely not be found in the “easy listening” section.

February 2009