Angel Ė Kalmukia (CD Editions Mego)

Angel is Ilpo Vaisanen (Pan Sonic) Hildur Gudnadottir (Lost In Hildurness) and Dirk Dresselhaus (Schneider TM).  Ilpo and Dirk have worked and released material as Angel for a couple of years but to the best of my knowledge this is the first time theyíve recorded with Hildur (she also appears on the current Pan Sonic album).

I donít have the proper cover for this as itís a promo so Iím not sure how the cover relates to the sounds as Ilpo is credited with ďstory and drawings,Ē so Iím wondering if this is supposed to be the soundtrack to a story printed on the cover.

The sounds itself are nothing like either Pan Sonic or Schneider TM. The same elements are there but this often veers closer to modern classical than it does to experimental.

The whole feel of the album is very subdued and slow moving thereís nothing rushed everything moves along at itís own pace. Even the first track with itís use of loud heavy guitar still only moves at a slighter faster pace than say a recent Earth track. It wouldnít feel out of place on Earthís ďHex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method.Ē

The guitar takes a back seat for the middle of the album. Tracks two and three (Kalmukia and Effect of Discovery) are both led by the cello. Kalmukia is a very mournful sounding piece, the cello playing slowly as some background electronics very subtly start to take over the piece. It fades out to five minutes of a restrained collection of taps and ambient electronics. Effect of Discovery starts of sounding like Stockhausenís 1950s Electronic Studies. Again very subdued and understated with the cello starting to make its mark a few minutes in. The whole track starts to get busier with more electronics and a slightly heavier feel to it.  The last track Aftermath reminds me of Tangerine Dream around the time of Hyperborea. It has a similar range of sounds to that album with a slightly Eastern tinge to it. Sounds like lots of loose guitar strings going through some delay with some slightly discordant cello sounds behind it. For me this is the weakest piece on the album it hasnít got the slightly sinister ambience of (particularly) tracks two and three and though itís got a nice balance of light and dark itís too uplifting in comparison with the rest of the album. Again I think maybe the cover would explain more and perhaps make it clear why this track sounds as it does.

On the whole itís a good album itís not what I expected having heard Ilpoís solo album of a few years ago but after a few listens itís certainly a grower and itís good to see people step outside the box and surprise you. DB