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