Some deliberately crude cut-and-paste experiments combining drone and rhythm tracks.
4.0 out of 5
By Matt Jensen
I always wanted to make a track that sounded like the inside of a volcano - too bad because Tuonela beat me to it. Rituals is one of his latest releases and sounds like nature. It feels chaotic yet has an intrinsic blueprint, is occasionally beautiful, mesmerizing and doesn't care what you think of it. On Rituals there are four tracks that all have different textures, grooves and crevices but almost feel symbiotically connected. Each tracks flows like a river that has no end. There are no climaxes just stages that take you from point A to point B. The evolution of the songs feels natural and never forced. It should be noted that the cover art, which feels intrinsically connected to the music, was taken by the artist. It is a beautiful yet manipulated picture of mountains and is a near perfect metaphor for the sounds you here on the album.
“Ritual One” literally feels like you stepped into a volcano. The track starts with white noise that sounds almost rhythmic. As the song progresses it feels as if you are going deeper into the lava and core of this beast. The sounds veer towards ominous and a pending doom that can be felt as bubbles start to boil from the extreme heat. By the end of the track I was glad I was in my cozy little apartment. “Ritual Two” is just as unique but completely different. The song constantly ascends as if you are taking off in an alien spacecraft. There are various distorted percussive elements that bombard the ascension and mimic that of a meteorite strike. Arguably the best track and most musical was “Ritual Three” which had a sample of a tabla that was surrounded by haunting tones and shimmering shades of ices. The track trickles like rain on your roof and is ends far too quickly in my opinion. The closing track sounded like I was about 100 feet away from an Apache helicopter that was ready to take off for Pandora. The airflow is modulated and towards the end of the track the helicopter takes off.
Listening to Rituals was an interesting observational ride in which I felt the songs were like little snippets of exaggerated nature that transferred to three to four minute waveforms. The songs were original and felt like his biggest influence was the mountains themselves and not a particular artist or genre. I recommend checking out this album as well as his vast collection of other work he has available on his Bandcamp page. (July 2013)