Wednesday, October 9, 2013

recommended: Ruairi O'Baoighill - Walpurgis

'Tis the season. Galway-based Ruairi O'Baoighill has been producing Sound Art and 'dark ambient' pieces for the last few years, as well as helming and curating a radio show - The Hidden Sounds - dedicated to Circuit Bending in the medium of Sound Art. So far he's released two albums, Walpurgis and -87 - both of which are available on a name-your-price basis from Bandcamp. His work on a third album was hindered by a burglary, but recent track 'Shadows' hints at what's yet to come from him.

  O'Baoighill's music makes for an intense and frequently uncomfortable listening experience. Horror film aficionados will tell you that sound design is often half the battle - or at the very least a crucial element - in classics of the genre, and the pieces that make up Walpurgis reflect that kind of sensibility. 'Part I' combines solemn-sounding chanting with deep, guttural drones that are somewhat reminiscent of Tibetan throat singing. The effect is ominous, as if you've stumbled upon a ritual in a dark wood, the crescendo of which you fear sticking around for. 'Part II' is underpinned by gut-churning low-end as a high-pitched metallic scraping (recalling Raime's skin-crawling tones of dread) is counterbalanced by the sporadic echo of disembodied, distorted voices.

More recent tracks feature on his Soundcloud as well. 'Killing Ground' wades through a miasmic sludge; the track itself feels like it's about to melt away at any moment through radioactive exposure. 'Shadows' comes across like a sequel of sorts to Walpurgis' 'Part I', except it's more disorientating and formless still; as if we've gone beyond the ritual and entered a frightening purgatory.

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