Ridiculously good. Strange slow-moving creaking performances on string and wind instruments and accordion of some kind, acoustic drone and acoustic doom... Beautiful discords, patient, ugly-beautiful melodies.
Weirdly it's mixed almost mono, but clearly not quite. This makes the atmosphere creepier and more oppressive, so I guess... fair enough?
Favorite track: Ayîk Adhîsta II.
Razen celebrate their 10 yr anniversary with “Ayîk Adhîsta Adhîsta Ayîk”, an album that takes a paragraph from CG Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections as a reference point to set off a journey that goes from light to dark, from day to night, from life to death, and back.
As much a reflection of primal imagery and rituals of knowledge as a way of coming to terms with anxieties about the chaos of the night, the album concerns itself with the question: who - or what - are we in the moments before (re-)birth, before waking up, in the state inbetween darkness and light?
On “Ayîk Adhîsta Adhîsta Ayîk”, the wind instruments and organ stabs of band leaders Kim Delcour and Brecht Ameel are expanded with Pieter Lenaerts’ five string double bass and sarangi, Jean-Philippe Poncin’s bass clarinet and chalumeau, and Paul Garriau’s hurdy gurdy.
The album sees the group explore new straight-to-the-gut emotional territory, while simultaneously showcasing Razen’s intuitive, continuous investigation of the acoustic properties and resonant possibilities of churches and chapels in the countryside around Brussels; after “Remote Hologram” (2014) and “ The Xvoto Reels” (2017), this time the St Agatha Church (St.-Agatha-Berchem) functions as the conduit for Razen’s acoustic sound jolts.
With the past ten years entirely devoted to the search for archetypical timbres and connotations by improvising on Early Music instruments, it’s no wonder that the world of Razen would one day collide with the world of CG Jung and take his writing as an inspiration.
A sonic hex tour de force from this unique ensemble, “Ayîk Adhîsta Adhîsta Ayîk” is a present-day, nocturnal emitter of the Coleridge quote that opens Jung’s Memories:
‘He looked at his own soul with a Telescope. What seemed all irregular he saw and shewed to be beautiful Constellations and he added to the Consciousness hidden worlds within worlds’.
released September 28, 2019
Brecht Ameel: Church Organ, Bouzouki
Kim Delcour: Single Reed, Tambourine, Shawm, Tenor Recorder,
Bass Recorder, Bagpipe
Pieter Lenaerts: Double Bass, Sarangi
Jean-Philippe Poncin: Bass Clarinet, Chalumeau
Paul Garriau: Hurdy Gurdy
Recorded Aug. 2017 at St.-Agathakerk, St.-Agatha-Berchem, Brussels.
Mastered by Christophe Albertijn at Studio Les Ateliers Claus spring 2019
“Landscape n° 39” by Nadezda Nikolova-Kratzer