Sealed (Cyclic Law; CD/DL)
Swedish sound-bender Pär Boström, here as Bonini Bulga, re-releases + expands his debut of 2017 (originally a self-released tape on Hypnagoga Press). In the hands of Cyclic Law the recording of Sealed is now minted into a limited run on CD (500 copies) with three more tracks (now running at 49 minutes), fleshing this into a full-length album boasting a ten-panel digipak. Boström is otherwise known for his dark ambient work as Kammarheit, however, here his sound is heavily based on sonic guitar loops.
The atmosphere is deliberate and excruciatingly time-released. In this light the wash of drone over mildly tweaked melodies is like the tires speeding past in the rain, you only hear a repeating momentary woosh of the rubber hitting the road. Each Named is trance-inducing after a few minutes, but somehow not harsh, quite contrarily becoming somewhat warming. In contrast By A Higher Thought is less so. Here the electronics get denser, far more mysterious, sinking into a matte backdrop where the edges fade away.
Moving ahead Each With Six Wings has more of a hard industrial core. Well, if the core itself were a hollow pulsing entity, and was continually being bored from the inside out. And I do not mean boring as in zzz, I mean it’s being sort of eaten from the inside out, slowly, emphatically, pulverized with a super low-end vibration. The action is subtle, muted, but there’s an artless sense of menace. Still, his sound has just subtleties that balance its implications. On Becoming the layers are thick with levitation as if we’ve made lift-off without signing up for it, but now that we’ve arrived in an undetermined space, feet don’t fail me now! It’s a short piece that acts as a type of intermediate glue between tracks, sticking nicely to (and no pun is intended) Sealed As One. This uses punctuated pulse tones static and hazy drone to draw out, in long hand, the gray area in which we are floating. It’s an unfixed, shifting reality. And this is where the original recording left us, with a jagged grin and a hint of dread.
The extension here continues with Each Masked, which lightens the mood negligibly. There’s a stillness Boström’s conveying, yet the impetus for being pressurized seems key. Perhaps this unlocks the title. He may be referring to some type of secrets, or containment, but the vibe is without question, one of being inside some form of walled off space. Whether the space is home or outer, there’s no place like it.
The ambient quietude of Guided has a veiled mystique. It’s one of those soft aural pleasures that only teases itself into earshot, then vanishes into the thinnest of air. The track, though feather-lite has an ambiguous symbology impossible to finger. It’s by far the most lush listening on this recording. Though we arrive at the new conclusion of By The Sigil Of The Third here. While this offers a window into the artistic magic realm of the shrouded sacred and profane, the foggy layers don’t give anything away. This obfuscation detracts the conspiracy theorists among us, but only encourages deep listeners to dive even deeper. The jagged sound sculpture formed here seems broader and less free-floating, making for a a sonic experience sans walls. It would seem the seal, as it were, has been broken.