Caaldruun is the solo project of New York City-based Eric Kessel, who is half of the Electro-Faustus team that creates innovative electronic devices. I’m guessing that more than a few of these are utilized here on Extraction, his fourth full-length effort. Listening to this release is like being inside a hydro drill as it bores its twisted path towards the core of the Earth. There are textures that last longer periods of time like a thick layer of basalt, while flecks of digital misinformation appear and disappear within a moment’s notice. The variety of approach is staggering: blasting, distorted slabs of analog filth invade the innermost reaches of the ear, while there are distinctly digital elements that avoid the trappings of Kaossilator wankery.
Fragments fade in and out quickly sometimes, while at other moments there are gradual shifts occurring over the course of several minutes. The “Extraction” that occurs on this release is one of constant juxtaposition of compositional techniques and extreme live electronics. Empty cables buzz in claustrophobic spaces while computers miscommunicate across dense systems of interrupted network connection. Kessel evokes incredibly unique textures from his seemingly endless sea of machines. While earlier recordings relied more heavily on field recording, this album seems to focus more on brutal frequency overload.
There are exceptions to this, such as the occasional glimpses of jagged metallic object abuse on “Swarm.” While I enjoyed the majority of the textures and compositional methods employed, I found myself longing for more of the musique concrète elements that were present on his earlier recordings. That small criticism aside, this release is heads and shoulders above the majority of current harsh noise being generated out of the United States. “White Urchin” is by far the strongest piece on this monster of a tape, which is criminally limited to a mere fifty copies from Kessel’s own Foxden Recordings.
A2) White Urchin
B1) Black Urchin