Just let me thank James Hamilton – the man behind the Keraunograph venture – for presenting me with one of the eleven (!) handmade copies of this extremely limited vinyl edition. As I’m writing, only two are left so better hurry up. Now I’m telling you why.
The compositional framework where Hamilton quenches his thirst of connection with the innermost underground essence is delimited by a restricted number of (mostly bowed) instruments, plus voice. In the first episode “The Searing Field”, this translates as an Organum-like quaking mantra structured upon a fundamental huge hum from which all kinds of grating, screeching and even sparkling harmonics depart, in search of human cavities willing to let them establish their “inside force” without too much of a fight. The second side features a piece called “Screaming Beneath The Earth” which seems to begin more calmly; almost immediately, though, the realization of another descent into ominous obscurity enforces obedience. This time the music’s pace is measured by a series of resonant piano whams escorted by harsher sounds related to the preceding half (read: droning with bad intentions, and louder by the minute). The perception of a static subterranean choir complements the imminence of danger. At high volume this is definitely intense, not-for-the-faint-hearted stuff.
The LP alone would be worth of attention, however it is important to note that the box set contains a download code allowing you to get immaculate digital files of its content, but also warranting the enjoyment of four additional tracks (duration varying from 11 to 22 minutes). These explore several gradations of harmonic enthrallment via differently conceived layerings of chordal endlessness, occasionally with a pseudo-Irish reel scent (“The Spirit Assembly”), elsewhere out-and-out toxic (“Prime Radiant” – Merzbow would be envious of this one). A couple of reference points to assist the imagination: Jim O’Rourke’s Happy Days, and selected parts of Duane Pitre’s output. Hamilton belongs at that level, no ifs and buts. To summarize, we’re talking about nearly two hours of active entrancement of a very fine brand, unquestionably superior to the large part of the trendy trash released by countless bourgeoise drunkards hyped as the next big thing on a monthly basis.