Rambadu – “Ajna” (Hypnus Records) [June 24, 2021]

Deep and primal, operating on ancient, pre-hominid circuits of ritual sound; this release from Dutch producer Rambadu achieves something slightly more vital than ordinary techno.

This is the kind of music that goes deeper, that taps into something in the subconscious that is more vital than just sound. For this reason the discussion is presented as a series of impressions.

The low chug of the continuous industrial processes always operating in the background. The switching of electrical lines on a train, the haul of pumps carrying water up and down floors of a brutalist apartment building, the chime of streetcars warning errant pedestrians; the drone and buckle of transnational bridges under the pressure of millions of tons of automated pressure. The short intakes of breath on a hidden layer of sound, just so slightly off note. Carefully rigged chimes in a prehistorical society warning of danger. Think of an oil rig misfiring in deep water. This is the kind of terrain we are in, and its easier said than done.

The whisper of ancient dryads communicating through the pattern of wind on leaves, what would be considered the background in other music here takes on sacred prominence. You find yourself lost in epigenetic memories of ancient funeral rites, it is music that encourages you to listen for the infinitesimal shifts of peak frequencies of clicks, which shine and hypnotize. The kick serves only to define a basic Cartesian grid on which to interpret the otherwise cavorting and generative movement of sound; a lighthouse or guardrail so that you don’t get too lost in the mist. Algorithmically smeared shakers and the sharp tang of metal on metal ring out like shooting stars.

Toad-like calls bellow, comprised of low-octave synths, which leap in acoustic prominence; startling you with mariners-trench deep reverberations of sound. You can almost see the haunted glow of a hungry, malformed anglerfish in the murky distance, eddies of kelp and genetically modified ocean-slime obfuscating or doppler-shifting the sound.

Beat-grids of friendly toms and bongo drums lock in a groove as the chips of a dying subtropical ecosystem lull you into a false sense of calm. This is the closing track, ‘Visie’. It is deep and primal, operating on ancient, pre-hominid Dionysian circuit of ritual sound.

This is the work of a promising early talent with a magnificent ear for the sounds consequent of modern life. To listen is to better understand our world.

-Winston Mann

Link – Bandcamp

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