Album ReviewsReviews

Review: Olhon - Lucifugus (2009)

artist: Olhon
release: Luci­fugus
format: 10″
year of release: 2009
label: Sub­stan­tia Innominata
dur­a­tion: 24:05

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

The sound of metal has been a staple in indus­trial music and its off­shoots for around four dec­ades now. And no won­der, there is some­thing evoc­at­ive and immin­ent about its clanging, scrap­ing, and tolling. On this 10″, the Olhon duo, con­sist­ing of Massimo Mag­rini (Bad Sec­tor) and Zairo (Where), explore the unique acous­tics of a large (aban­doned) water tank pre­vi­ously used for min­ing indus­tries. All sounds on this EP were recor­ded in and from the tank “dur­ing a windy night in late Septem­ber 2007”, res­ult­ing in two long sound­scapes with a very coher­ent sound.

Homo Luci­fugus” graces the main side of this release, focus­ing on eerie aer­ial sound, subtle drones, and errat­tic metal per­cission. Olhon res­ists the tempta­tion to stuff these sound­scapes chock full of lay­ers, opt­ing instead for a rather open sound design where you can clearly pick out every ele­ment at all times. This lends the sound a sub­tlety that encour­ages attent­ive listen­ing, and it really allows the unique sound of the water tank to sur­face.

The B-side, “Vox Luci­fuga” con­tains a bit more dis­tor­tion and noise, par­tic­u­larly in the middle part of the track, rais­ing the intens­ity level of the release some­what by this point. The effect is more that of metal scrap­ing dir­ectly in your brain, rather than the con­vo­luted sound of col­lapsing metal struc­tures that is also aud­ible quite often in music like this. Fol­low­ing is a sec­tion that returns to the eeri­ness that per­vades a great part of this release: howl­ing abstract winds, soft rust­ling and jangling, and deep drones, all softly reced­ing towards the end­ing of this release.

Because of its unique sound source and well-craf­ted pro­duc­tion, Luci­fugus is a very suc­cess­ful and sat­is­fy­ing piece that will be inter­est­ing to many lov­ers of ambi­ent, drones and abstract music. The fact that it is lov­ingly released as part of the Sub­stan­tia Innominata series, with suit­able art­work and orange vinyl, only adds to its appeal.

Reviewed by O.S.


A Homo Luci­fugus (12:01)
B Vox Luci­fuga (12:04)