I was forewarned to expect an “earthly and ritual feel” from this latest work of dark ambience from [ówt krì]. From the outset we are swept away into an echo chamber, intensified by a constant solemn drone and a distant voice lurking in the shadows I recall some years ago as likening an album to being in a gothic graveyard at night with the wind whistling past. “Ceremony part 1” is like being inside the church. It is a gloomy ceremony, punctuated by a string of delicate sounds of unknown origin. As we move into “Serenity”, we are lifted out of the church and into a spatial universe of echoes and voids.
This weird and wonderful universe does not stand still. Sweeping sound waves rise and fall calmly, like someone in a deep sleep. The echoing voice gives off a human front. It sounds as if natural forces are sweeping it along. Bells ring delicately like falling icicles. In spite of the minimalism, I was experiencing a strange mix of sensations as we’re out there in the depths of space, yet I am hearing the distant sounds of humans, the dark forces of nature and as we head into “Past vs Future”, suggestions of falling rocks and crumbling catastrophe. It’s dreamy but there’s no place for dreaming. If this is the future, it is violent. Sharp sounds like falling pieces of scaffolding now interrupt the deep, dark, echoing drone. What can it all mean? The title “We, The Forthcoming” doesn’t help to resolve the mystery. The sounds become more mechanical, like an anvil or a steel mill but this factory remains in that eternal echo chamber.
As I listened to “The Stream”, I could start to identify with the image of “animal in restless sleep” that Kenneth Kovasin, the creative force behind [ówt krì], associates with “Primal”. For the first time I sensed more the psychological terror behind it. Strange to say, but thus far I felt out there in space with all manner of strange intrusions more than inside “the mind of the primal beast”. “Primal Rage” then reinforces my earlier impression. Strident violin-like sounds suggest all is not right out there. If this is psychological, it’s as if the mind is a scrap yard. Whilst I realise it’s not necessary to buttonhole everything I listen to, I sense there is an aspiration towards a holistic experience, but find myself somewhere in no man’s land between on the one hand a cosmic and on the other a psychological experience with faintly recognizable clutter floating and crashing around, a bit like my rattly old Skoda. “Ceremony part 2” takes us back to the dreamy, floaty ambience that we started with but now the wind has dies down. Human echoes resonate. Eventually it dies out but I’m not sure I’m any further forward than where I started. This world is mysterious and nigh on unfathomable.
This album gets more interesting with each listen, but I still don’t know whether I feel more enriched or alienated as a result. I think it might have had more impact if I’d been in a more disturbed state of mind. “Primal” has the potential to be the stuff of nightmares. As ever Kenneth intrigues us atmospherically by taking us into a dark and spiritual cosmic world. [ówt krì] creations are consistently outerworldly, and so is “Primal” but such is the mixture here that I found it his most obscure and mystifying work yet.
(7.5/10 Andrew Doherty)