Sky Flowers & Horse Eggs

From Discogs.com : "An unusual title for an unusual album. I haven't heard anything quite this strange since La Légende Des Voix released the much acclaimed (and rightly so) "Mouvements" compilation (unless you count Anckarstrom's CD collection). It is a challenging collection of audio montages, atmospheres and complementary music. The cover is bright and colourful with Asian mythological images, an almost Blake-like painting and various other strange images. Below is a brief description of each piece.

SPINAL MACHINE's "Inside" - an indistinct mass of churning sound - not unlike the Extreme Noise favoured in Japan, but an amorphous shifting of barely-perceived audio images - some short and percussive - others longer, more sustained. This is the language of gas, a whisper of ancient, terrible beings rising from unfathomable chasms beneath the Earth's mantle, out of lungs part fossilised, corrupted by water.

BLACKHOUSE give us "Halo Trance (Eternal Spirit Mix)" - a much muted piece as of busy railway yards heard from deep underground, where lighter tones reverberate through dirty tiled tunnels, arriving at different times to the bass. This continues for some time while the lost spirits of synth buskers echo strange noises which blend with the other more real sounds. A strange, dark, chilling atmosphere which offers little threat.

ETANT DONNES offer "S'Envole" which is more an intense ambient piece - an active waterfall, chopping of sticks and stones thrown into water while a voice whispers in your ear. A rumble builds up, as of a machine set to engulf the listener. Towards the end the stones are dug out with more gusto and strange, alien bird-like voices cry out in fear or warning as others gather overhead. This dies back, then grows again on a deeper rumble, as if the same scenario were heard from a greater distance while booted feet run through gravel and the voice whispers more frantically.

NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS offer two pieces - "Adam Hickson/The War on Drugs". The first piece is taken from an answering machine - a young lad warning someone off. After this a high sequential rhythm, bright and repetitive cycles while a gang of girls discuss Adam Hickson. This decays away and in it's place rises a strangely angular piece - sequential but played on harmonica or accordion while synthetic sounds and distorted voices circle, gathering in bubbling pools of noise.

RANDY GREIF's track is "The Numbers Cage", a more passive, minimal thing which seems to consist mainly of looped tapes, with sound sources possibly being piano, organ, panpipes. This passive sound is destroyed by more abrasive sounds - harsh, almost metal bashes, scampering junk sculptures - scrap heap tin men in spastic marathon run, while a crowd of mad tape machines play minimal sounds in a textural cacophony. The race turns into a battle, with each participant using whatever weapon comes to hand.

PFN offer "Sarajevo", a more passive, calming mood piece which soothes the nerves. Keyboards swell up in almost static bodies - perhaps a Hollywood sound representation of sunrise, with a sense of events due to happen, just over the next horizon. It opens out into a sad instrumental, with saxophone making dour comment, hinting at a people whose encapsulated traditions are being ploughed asunder by pointless conflict.

JOHN WATERMANN's "The Golden Anger of Tearing" tells a tale in sound - a vignette of struggle in an inhuman environs. Imagine a jungle, full of life - birds, insects and small mammals all living out their noisy lives. Imagine a man, labouring over his broken-down vehicle, trying to get it's reluctant engine to run - his life under threat if he cannot drive out of such a place. This sounds quite literally what is happening here (although the engine sounds more like a generator). We leave him still struggling, unaware of any outcome.

S.F.O. give us "Raan" - fading in on deep amorphous sound with voices floating like muscae volitantes through the heavy soup. Something akin to a rhythm thumps it's other-worldly, machine-like way out of the speakers, a dark, edgeless dull booming sound with other, lighter pieces adding to it's almost structured shell.

ZOVIET FRANCE contribute "I Felt the Breath of My Assassin", built again on a deep machine-like foundation, various sounds fade in and out - some from the stranger realms of synthesis, others seemingly 'found' - perhaps samples, perhaps not. The overall feel is of a static mood, of events impending. Fragments of Ethnic instruments appear here and there. A more deliberate structure shows through, albeit muted and held way back, bound by coils of passive tension. It concludes on an almost vocal swell of digeridoo-like sound and passive machine synth.

G*PARK give us "Yack" which follows in a similar mood, opening with wooden percussion, then settling for non-structured deep metallic clanks and dark waves of sound which build up, disappear, return in an altered form, then restructure again in a well composed series of deep thunders, percussive booms, clanking, reverberated sound all making a strange, temple ceremony-like sound heard through the ears of, say, an uncomprehending bat !

SHABDA close the album with "Paramahamsa", a piece building on bubbling water with distant echoed voices heard below the bubbling sounds. The initial watery sound dies away and a series of sustained voices, in a dis-harmonic swell, rises up through the sound, to be once more usurped by the water. After this the voices rise, bringing with them an Oriental sound - not unlike looped koto or sarod. After this rises a piece set against ambient bird sound while voices chanting "Hare Krishna" and bright keyboards appear, in a piece with all the elements of New Age, yet anything but the mood.

All in all an intriguing album and recommended to those with a sense of adventure."

Tracklisting :
01. Spinal Machine - Inside
02. Blackhouse - Halo Trance (Eternal Spirit Mix)
03. Etant Donnés - S'envole
04. Nocturnal Emissions - Adam Hickson / The War On Drugs
05. Randy Greif - The Numbers Cage
06. PFN - Sarajevo
07. John Watermann - The Golden Anger Of Tearing
08. S.F.O. - Raan
09. Zoviet-France - I Felt The Breath Of My Assassin
10. G*Park - Yack
11. Shabda - Paramahamsa

"Sky Flowers & Horse Eggs" was released by Hypnagogia in 1992.

Get it here : Sky Flowers & Horse Eggs

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