The Garden
( Single Vinyl )
Zhark 12017 | Out: 09.03.2006
The Garden

Filled to the brim with complex programming and gothic atmospheres, The Garden EP from Abelcain will send you through a maze of familiar yet still frightening horrors.

Frantic, fractured, frenetic, and freaky; alliteration aside, these words seem to be used fairly often when describing IDM music. Combining complex arrangements of mangled beats and manipulated samples, IDM has undergone various mutations since the term was first coined, with many artists incorporating various styles and forms of imagery that many would probably find disturbing or even psychotic. Abelcain is a good example; as a staple on the Zhark label, his style is certainly one of intrigue, agitation, and downright craziness. Look no further than The Garden EP for proof, especially the twisted machinations of "Bitter Moon Blossom," with its brief but destructive bits and pieces of death metal guitars and screams bent into submission and forming odd progressions, held together by pummeling beats that scamper and skitter across the track. The title track also kicks off with an assortment of faded string samples creating a bed of ominous ambience, giving the beats prominence as they fritter around in their usual breakneck fashion. Add some deep synth attacks, and you have a nice piece of abstract drum & bass-infused IDM. The same can be said for "Black Bone Orchid" with its string quartet tones evoking something you'd hear in the soundtrack of horror/mystery/suspense film, though offset by some more synth bass rolls. Closing the EP out is "Danse Macabre," a track that amalgamates all those elements of the three previous tracks: frenzied synth and drum programming, slight screams and chugs of deathly guitar, and samples reminiscent of a horror or mystery film, creating a gothic atmosphere befitting any excursion into the dark and dreary recesses of the world. The Garden EP is perfect music for a moonlit night, instilling enough fright and unease in the listener that one could imagine being trapped in a haunted house designed by M.C. Escher. Where other IDM artists are content to present a picture of musical mental illness, Abelcain takes us through more familiar horrors, the kind we all know and love, but are no less frightened for it.