Sleep Research Facility – Nostromo – CD – Cold Spring


Cold Spring has undergone a convincing evolution since it’s early releases, and now sees itself positioned as one of the few remaining “dark” labels in the UK that has not only maintained and sustained a serious presence, but in spite of the economic and fiscal meltdown of pioneering organisations such as World Serpent, inhabiting similar territory, they have actually managed to thrive and develop new artists and genre defying works by the likes of Clear Stream Temple, and Sleep Research Facility.

The latter now enjoy the status of having their debut album, Nostromo re-released, re-mixed, and re-packaged, testament indeed to the success of it’s initial run, and the now ever-growing population of SRF followers, and Cold Spring adherents alike. Sourced from the first 8 minutes of the film “Alien”, Nostromo is an unsurprisingly dark and brooding piece of work that takes us on a journey through the body of the ship on it’s journey homeward. Doubtless, there are hordes of you out there that know the outcome of this troubled journey, and SRF have woven additional layers of narrative into their piece, resonant, textural tracts that deepen our appreciation of the original, and listened to over the film, would have made a fine alternative to it’s original soundtrack.

This could be conceived as a singular work, divided into separate movements, as tracks flow into each other, each representing the various deck-levels of the ship, each, shimmering and breath-like, as wave upon wave of dark vortices swirl and cascade. SRF have now refined their techniques, building tension, and impressing a deep sense of foreboding into their work, that leaves the hairs on my neck standing on end. All elements of the frequency spectrum are serviced by the low rumble of almost sub-bass, filtered through granular elements, and bleak, protracted chords or tonal sequences.

Those of you that know the film will understand the significance of these desolate pieces, as one by one, the ship’s crew are picked off by it’s seemingly indestructable alien stow-away, leaving only it’s sole survivor to carry the film to it’s conclusion. SRF subtly, and masterfully deny us any glimpse of the horrors about to occur, but rather – play on our anticipation of the inevitable, a technique that Hitchcock himself used to great effect, leaving us with only our imagination to bridge the gaps.

SRF are, for me at the peak of their genre, never tripping up on cliché, and continually creative and inventive, this is possibly one of the most accomplished, and elegantly treated interpretations of film that there could possibly be. Absolutely essential. BGN


About whiteline1

WHITE_LINE was set up three years ago, in order to play and promote the work of artists and musicians working under the banner of "minimalism", in all its many guises. This has led to a regular and highly successful mix slot on the Garden of Earthly Delights radio show in the UK, and guest appearances on Resonance FM (frequenzen show). We now aim to extend the remit of the mix slots by reviewing (as often as possible) material that encapsulates and crystallises the minimalist ethic, and hopefully we'll be leading artists and audiences alike towards a deeper appreciation of this and other marginalised genres. I welcome your comments, and criticisms, and would love to hear from labels and artists who would like their work showcased on the show, or reviewed here. We regret that due to time constraints, we cannot review everything that is sent to us, but will endeavour to give exceptional work an "honourable mention" at the very least, and links to quality sites that we think worthy of mentioning. I am trying to support labels and artists as much as possible by promoting their work, not least because I am a stereotypical "struggling artist" myself, but also because there are so few younger artists entering this particular scene, and there is a danger of it becoming the sole domain of a handful of forty somethings who really ought to be doing something better with their time! Having worked for most of the more reputable underground magazines in the early 90's, I was never afforded the luxury of taking time and care over reviews, as deadlines and column space were always hanging like the sword of Damocles over me. With WHITE_LINE, I have the luxury of being able to review when I have time, and I am receptive to a particular mood, and hopefully this will reflect in the quality and length of some of the reviews. If you like what you see, please link to me to encourage more traffic through the site, and cross promote whatever is happening out there. Address for promotional material: 45 Drovers Walk Spring Park, Kingsthorpe Northampton NN2 8BB UK

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