Responsible for Roly Porter’s gut-churning 2013 highlight Life Cycle of a Massive Star and Emptyset‘s grizzly Material just for starters, Subtext have carved out a respectable niche for themselves in the last few years.
Their latest full-length offering is a chilly slab from London-based Yank Eric Holm, and might be conceptually the most interesting record we’ve had pass through the FACT gates this year so far. You see, Holm put Andøya together from recordings he made while camped at the island of Andøya, an outpost 300 kilometers north of the arctic circle.
Attaching a single contact mic to remote telegraph pole that connects the island’s array of military listening stations (you know what those are, Conet Project fans), Holm retrieved sounds that captured the island’s empty isolation, and fashioned them into grinding, industrial vignettes.
Skating a line between Thomas Köner’s early ambient experiments and the Raster Noton label’s exploration of choppy rhythms and harsh digital sound, Andøya is challenging but deeply rewarding, and you can see for yourself below.
Andøya is out now on Subtext.