Koenraad Ecker – Ill Fares The Land

Squeezed into the first 14 minutes of Koenraad Ecker’s Ill Fares The Land are more ideas, twists and turns than some people manage to find space for across the full length of an album. It’s not cluttered. It’s not heavily layered. It just fits. It’s audio story telling.

To break it down into simple terms Ill Fares The Land is a slow, techno drone album with more emphasis on the slow. Ecker is one half of Lumisokea whose recent releases on Opal Tapes have been greatly received. With that in mind, you should know on which side of the light and darkness wars this album falls.

The whole album has a feeling of mystery to it. It’s unpredictability is part of its charm. After opening with the 14 minute Oran we head into the relatively bite-sized guttural hum of Kurtz; weighing in with 7 minutes of tense strings and electric hum.

One-Eye has the same feeling in its opening moments – more faulty components for a machine that is programmed for gloom. A short excerpt of melody. A brief moment of almost total silence and then the parts fall into place and the crunch of rhythm arrives, heralding the noise.

Decline delivers in its short time with a blast of bass and a mournful cello before the album comes to a close in the shape of Stuffed Men. Probably the album’s most violent track; with its first half coming on like an angry Emptyset. The second half is full of restraint and instrumentation placing you in a Zen like garden within a vast warehouse.

Available now on Digitalis Recordings.


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