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Various Artists - Sacral Symphony

EE Tapes have just released a compilation of meditative drone music compiled and mixed by Eugeny Voronovski of Cisfinitum. Sacral Symphony sits alongside their Table For Six compilations showcasing various forms of ambient music. This time, however, the contributors are working around the theme of sacred music. The result is an album of quiet, contemplative music that more often than not uses church bells, organ or choirs as a basis for sound manipulation. The first two acts formerly recorded - or maybe they still do - as Maeror Tri. 'Dageraad' from 1000Schøen blends jangling percussion with soft wafts of droning melody, while towards the end ringing bells and deeper drones penetrate. Troum are much more pensive with soft tones, swirling atmospheres and quiet churning disembodied voices. As it progresses 'Palas Tyn' gets decidedly deeper with dark drones and lighter synth layers. 'Autumn Ritual' from Cisfinitum is a hauntingly beautiful slice of soft ambient electronics. There's something almost classical in its construction as it slowly unfurls layers of melancholic ambience. The standout moment on Sacral Symphony comes from Rapoon with 'One Last Breath', consisting of sound manipulations and treatments of the Kyiv Chamber Choir and scaled samples of his own voice to create an almost otherworldy ghost ambience. It's quite unlike anything I've heard before and I'm pleased to be reacquainted with the former Zoviet France member. The final track comes from the Ukraine based project First Human Ferro, and veers towards dark ambient territory with deep, dark droning and reverberating effects that manages to sound like it was recorded inside a church. Choral music pierces the droning for a significant part of the track, though remaining surrounded by electronic effects and sympathetic droning.

With each of the five tracks lasting a good 15 minutes or so, each act has ample opportunity to flesh out their sound constructions, from which compiler Eugeny Voronovski mixes admirably. Sacral Symphony is packaged in a 7-inch cardboard sleeve in an edition of 300 copies. Released at the tail end of 2008 there really can't be many left now. For more information go to www.myspace.com/eetapes or www.eetapes.be