infinitus ensemble

Infinitus Ensemble ‘sleep of shards’ (frequent sea). Apologies to Al over at Scotch Tapes / Frequent Sea and all concerned but an impromptu spring clean conducted this very morning turned up this release much to our horror (at overseeing it in the first place) and joy (at finding the blighter). Limited we believe to just 99 copies all housed in the now trademark and eye catching hand made packaging – this one in fact being a wallpaper wallet – and be warned they will fly from the shelves given that most of their previous 6 releases to date have long since been sold out. Infinitus Ensemble are essentially German based duo Iri Li and Ralph Rabendorn who have been around some ten years quietly navigating the outer spheres of the outsider pop universe. They prefer to collectively refer to their sound collages as medusada or contra-art which in essence incorporates all the melodic mediums and cross generic references currently sheltering beneath what passes for avantgarde / experimental therefore blending drone, noise, dada, ambience, jazz and musique concrete. ‘sleep of shards’ their seventh release to date runs to forty minutes of eerie chamber ambience, made up of fourteen parts / tracks which despite these time sequenced extractions is essentially one elongated suite. Foreboding stuff it is to, darkly grim and straying just the right side of menacing in both delivery and appeal. Certainly one to be listened to from the comfort afforded from behind the back of a sofa in daylight I should stress and with the lights on for Infinitus Ensemble carve deeply monolithic slabs of withering ceremonial styled ambience, certainly not for the feint of heart, all at once abstract and out there, sometimes unsettling others just macabre, their flair for theatrics albeit steeped towards a grounding in noir tipped tension based horror is quite exquisite, each attending facet of ‘sleep of shards’ brings with it differing degrees of ice tipped blood chills. Deeply atmospheric the set opens with voyaging ‘error message’ – a monochromatic pulse of sheens of glassy swathes of shimmering drone orbiting in the desolate netherworlds of the void (and again on ‘escape’ wherein a haunting and reverential middle eastern vibe is courted) much recalling the spectral elements of Barry Gray’s soundtrack work. From therein the attending make up of ‘sleep of shards’ is meticulously applied each ensuing passage being enhanced and reshaped to evolve in shape, density and mass. Here you find the audio accoutrements of bowed chimes, insectoid clicks and scratches dappling the landscape alongside the momentary daubing of noir tipped key braids, from the fraught wired psychotropic mania of the edgily set pagan folk tablas that is ‘beast of prey’ (a similar ploy is used again on ‘backbone’)and the squirming oddness of ‘abscess of the unreal’, ‘sleep of shards’ manifests with morbid intent, both clinical and cold and equipped with the kind of detached classicism rarely heard around her out of a Bronnt Industries Kapital outing. Coil and SPK are readily brought to mind as strangely are the pre ZTT work of Propaganda (at times) especially on the howling soft psych loop lunar mirage ‘capsule (premonition)’ which marks the beginning of the sets defining triptych – its accompanying allies being ‘laborious’ and ‘capsule’ – the former perhaps the albums most animated and busy of tracks to feature here wrapped as it is in all manner of leviathan like screeches, softly pensive and ritualistic percussive thuds and oscillating shimmers which to these ears momentarily had us recalling Ryuichi Sakamoto while the latter basks amid the hypnotic cascade of celestial chorus’ pierced and scratched by impromptu metal beats and wiring sound manipulated whirrs all washed by a veritable monastic flavouring. Edgy yet consuming stuff.

first published – 18th July, 2009

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