Luc's 20-year-old Gothic Ambient Music Gets The CD Treatment.
The Noctivagant label out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has a slogan. "For those who congregate in darkness..." Over the weekend, they re-released the dark, gothic ambient music of Lucian Olteanu. Of the two releases, Tronul Ascuns Memorii Astrale, is the other, Wide Open Wings Wingswork, which focuses more on a gothic ambient sound. Both of these works were self-published by Luc in 2003, which he described: "All the tracks are computer-based, done with Fruity Loops, Sonar, and most of them with Reason," according to his Bandcamp page.
These albums have always been digital until this weekend now revied on CDs with quality packaging they never got. The purpose is to preserve the nostalgic and dark ambient sounds of that time, greatly influenced by the dark industrial music from the Cold Meat Industry label. If you grew up listening to the dungeon, drone, and Nordic synth of the time, you might be nostalgic for that, so this is for you.
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The Gothic Ambient Musical Duality Of Two
Initially, my favorite of the two went to Tronul Ascuns Memorii Astrale for the wrong reasons. I got as much as possible from that album with the comparisons I made and where they took me. After a second listen, Wide Open Wings Wingswork, works better than Tronul Ascuns Memorii Astrale.
The reason for this is quite apparent. Luc worked on this material from 2001-2003. enough time to mold his ambient industrial sounds into melodies and themes. These instrumentals are closer to sounding like the instruments they're synthesizing. The percussion and the beats are more controlled, and the production overall is better.
When put up against Memorii Astrale. Wingswork sounds as if it were planned out better. It doesn't sound as two-dimensional as its darker half. If this reminds me of anything, it takes me back to the early days of Front Line Assembly's Total Terror era.
All the tracks work for me, especially "Black Wings Society," which is dynamically different from the rest of the album. It's not as catchy, but it pushes the boundaries established by the other tracks. With these releases, Lucian Olteanu establishes himself as an artist who makes dark ambient music. This album, however, veers him off into a composer of ritual ambient music looping, in this case, the sounds of the Muslim call to prayer.
Speaking of boundaries, why go anywhere outside the themes of flight that this release is about? From the project name to the title to the names of the tracks. Is this the terrestrial version of the two, while Memorii Astrale is the astral? It would have to be.
My reference to ritual ambient music for this album goes to the reference of cultural rituals worldwide. Other times in this release conjure up Nordic imagery of the Valkyrie, of Valhalla, of great halls and the Knights Templar, the Magick order of the Golden Dawn, and ancient Egypt. I referred to Darkness from the movie Legend in my review for Memorii Astrale, where he seems to dwell on the astral plane. Wingswork is the opposite or the angelic equivalent; with the title "Hunting And Killing The Gods of Darkness," the angelic theme is certain. Lucian Olteanu's albums are available on the Noctivagant label's Bandcamp page and are limited to 100 copies.