The Stockholm cassette label Moloton are celebrating their first anniversary with the release of a new ambient album from Atonet, Ido. This release straddles the intriguing duality between contemporary electronics and gothic art. There is, I think, something specifically Nordic in this crossover. You can find it in the recent Swedish gabber revival (see HAJ300, Kablam etc), which takes the harsh deathly aesthetics of metal and applies them to hardcore. Then there is Fever Ray and The Knife, who use masks, face-paint and costumes borrowed from Paganism and the occult. Even the Stockholm Drone Society don matching biker-jackets, like the Hell’s Angels of ambient.
This latest release from Moloton taps into this idea, albeit from another angle. Where a lot of ambient music places the listener in a spacey Internet-netherworld, this music is tactile and grounded. A quick scan of the label imagery will also uncover bat wings and Medieval typeface. Indeed, although made with synthesisers and drum machines, the mood on Ido has more in common with Sunn 0)), Boris and Earth than it does with Oneohtrix Point Never or Emeralds. The opening drones of ‘City in the Sky’ and the heavy rumbles of ‘Spine Hustle’ sound like zombies emerging from the soil. There are also delicate moments on here, like the innocent steel pans of ‘Angel Born Again’ or ‘Reality Crumbles’. The album concludes with ‘Another Childhood’, which rings out like a funeral organ, making one final return to the earth.
Ido is available now on Moloton records as a cassette limited to only 100 copies. Head over to their website to buy a copy.