Review: Umpio – Kulotus (Narcolepsia / Hiisi Productions, Jun 7)

kulotusIn what may already be one of, if not the culmination of a fantastic calendar year for harsh electronic music, Portuguese mainstay Narcolepsia and Hiisi Production’s from the artist’s home country of Finland team up for the monstrous Kulotus, a double-CD anthology of twelve Umpio recordings from the past decade. Other than Bizarre Uproar, there isn’t too much noise that makes it over from the Land of a Thousand Lakes with much oomph left (that I’ve heard about, at least… and I’d love to be proven wrong), but Umpio has been churning out increasingly interesting music since 2009, and now uninitiated listeners (including myself) can get a summative look into his stylistic and creative development throughout the ensuing years. Texturally intricate, dizzyingly detailed, and selectively intense, each and every recording included on Kulotus is its own overwhelming onslaught of whirling kinesis, the unique result of a refined system of oscillators, effects, and feedback manipulation pushed to heights that consistently flirt with the atom-splittingly primordial. We’re at the mercy of violent chain reactions, scalding Velcro-rip abrasions, and tectonic roils from deep within the earth—naïve volcano-voyeurs on the hunt for sounds whose potency is, to say the least, incompatible with the human eardrum. This definitely feels like a collection of various material, but it’s more than atmospherically coherent all together, and 80+ minutes ends up feeling more like 40. Not the worst way to experience ten years of fire and brimstone, or whatever.

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