Conflux Coldwell/Tomonari Nozaki (split) | Angry Ambient Artists Vol.4
While just catching up with this series-in-progress a split like this may be a rare opportunity to compare/contrast based on concept or construct. Forwind, the Dublin/Berlin imprint, going into their eleventh year of production has a big ear for curation. In fact, this is my introduction to both Leeds’ Conflux Coldwell and Tokyo-based Tomonari Nozaki, so that alone is worth investigating. Previous splits in the series included: African Ghost Valley & Billy Roisz; Svetlana Maraš & Bodies Under and finally Machinefabriek & Philippe Petit – so as you can see they have a estimably unique and wide scope. Now let’s put this thing on, shall we?
Side one starts with the two tracks (about twenty-one minutes) by Conflux Coldwell, and first up is the slowly emerging Backwater that is in this sensitive area between white noise and industrial drone. Layers of tone, rustling effects that quicken and widen – as well as a cascading drop in pressure, all lead with forward motion. The actions are like those of a cement mixer with a churning sensation, constantly whirring until abruptly abbreviated. On Acathexis the tone has significantly switched to a dizzying trap. A monosyllabic human murmur leads to a whipping, spinning, crushing low-fi set of abstraction. Coldwell’s sound is quite physical, almost visceral, as it tumbles about, holding locked secrets in broken fe/male voice treatments. There’s a sinister edge to this eccentric work of percussion and pulse that even moves towards the funky about midway. By the end of the piece he’s dialed into sci-fi sonic frequencies and haunted silences.
Blackout is the first of three tracks on Tomonari Nozaki‘s part of the split. Something between the jitter of a machine and the lapping of an ocean wave brusquely repeats in a pattern of distillation. Here too there are more gentle hints of an industrial side, yet far less revealing and closer to the chest than on side a. Each of these three short works has its own scope of microsound that looms, tears and otherwise presents quirky disturbances, particularly pixelated on Deception Repeater. An avalanche of radio frequencies like a gushing waterfall of static. And finally a much more moody Sound Locator circumnavigates space as if surveilling the DNA of anything in its path. By far the most enigmatic here, the synth-bent drone cries only further help infuse this with a strange tension.