This album merges two sound artists who each have their own distinctive, differing styles. They are German black drone outfit [Bolt] and solo artist Biblo from Istanbul. On this 12”, each artist created two tracks, one on their own and a second track featuring the other artist. This is a self-titled audio-visual collaboration that is complemented by a booklet of eight manipulated photographs by Ole Kristian Heyer of the Italian glacial Lake Garda. Due to the strongly differing styles, this is a collaborative effort that could go either way in terms of its success.
[Bolt]’s sound combines epic riffs and a strong obsession with feedback; this wall of instrumental squalling builds in layered complexity through the formation of suspenseful atmospheric drones that are unrecognizable yet effective. They also incorporate dramatic shifts and drops as means to gorgeous ends on an occasionally grand scale that really resonates with Heyer’s images. As [Bolt]’s work shifts into a more subtle ambient territory it becomes expansive and somehow more ambitious. Biblo’s contribution to the work of [Bolt] is backed by simple beats that add a solid base for the sound to build upon. Static hiss playfully teases the ethereal ambience that [Bolt] evoke, creating a subtle repetitive shift between different sonic territories. The drama of the work truly reflects the impressive landscapes of Lake Garda and the wide contrasts between the towns, lake, and mountains. The two artists come together here to create a hypnotic, evocative, and ethereal passage of ever-changing sound.
I’m completely unfamiliar with Biblo’s work and the genre she operates in, but the changes she brings to [Bolt]’s work is massive. In a solo context, her fractured electro is pulsated by bursts of subtle dub ambient beats that serve as an introduction to her abstracted vocalised sounds. Her work is dreamily ambient in contrast to the soaring seriousness of [Bolt]; she also uses repetition well throughout her contributions. It is more of a long, delicate soundscape of graceful, eloquent sounds and layered vocals. Combined with [Bolt], the electronics seem to intensify and take a more serious turn in sound. The music raises to its highest points when more emotionally dramatic undertones take hold in sporadic passages.
In some ways, this album is fractured by being two artist tracks followed by two collaborations. They all really only begin to tie together by relating them to Heyer’s visuals. The tracks that both artists work on together are stronger that their individual pieces; they deliver an impressive show of individual strengths that impressively come together easily under one complete unit. If both artists worked together again, I’d love to see a full-length album of collaborative work with another core visual element as the concept in itself was brilliant in this case, yet only offered to its audience in sample size. These criticisms, however, are clearly only minor. This is an excellent record that reaches soaring heights as genres are mixed into unknown territories to exceptional results.