Immerse is essentially one long dark dive into deep-sea and chthonic space.
It’s been quite some time since we heard from Danny Kreutzfeldt. Once highly prolific under given name and aliases sgnl_fltr, Fallingapparatus, Sectorchestra, and Periskop, mixing ambience and rhythm to varying degrees from ‘floor to space, he seems to have gone underground in 2008, only now emerging, Periskop re-upped, with Immerse. It’s a set of ‘industrial dub techno and submarine noises’ crafted in 2000-2008 navigating through depths and darkness with a chill grip and sombre affect that, were it the sole product of his retreat, would be justification enough (n.b. for considerably more, see 40 below*).
Swedish techno imprint Hypnus‘s more leftfield twin, Kabalion, touts Immerse with references to influences from ‘early dub techno’ (Chain Reaction, mainly) and the ‘dark ritual emotional/cathartic approach of the industrial soundscape movement of the 80s and 90s’ (cf. Thomas Köner, to these ears). By way of explanation the artist proffers: ‘I was compelled to combine the two approaches in a personal space or sound to overcome states of alienation and emptiness. The layer-on-layer compositions are a result of more or less meditative explorations of these states in symbiosis with the music making equipment. Some of the sounds are field recordings and vocals / voices / breathing and some of them are synths and sampled drum machines, but I have tried to blur the line between the two types of sources to avoid too many references to existing music or phenomena from normal human experiences.’ A shoe-in, then, for the psychoactive creed espoused: ‘Rather than focusing entirely on the technical aspects we are also looking for something where the underlying state of mind is palpable.’ (Kabalion). All dark pulse and surround-sound synth drone filtered for how low it can go with the flow–rhythm, when felt, more visceral than kinetic–a minimal, even liminal, presence, eschewing default doof-ist (over-)dub techno tropes for more of a sub-100 bpm crawl.
Immerse moves in tenor and tone, eerie dark ambient tracts threaded with spooked murmurings (“Component 1”) and doom-ridden pulses (“Component 3”) with outbreaks of serenity, e.g. the chiming chords of “Component 2” and wispy ambience of “Component 7.” These, though, are tangents, with disquieting timbres (“Component 9”) and caustic beats (“Component 10″) resuming normal service. Synth drones close in like slow rush ocean pressure pushing in, smothering grasp of orientation and space; beats hit, here like submarine-propelled shockwaves, there like the ocean’s own heartbeat, now and then a vast clang or chthonic rumble, as perceptual states are altered to reflect the psychological modulations of a projected immersed subject: a sense of sensory deprivation articulated in phantom noise shards and hallucinogenic detritus, breath and voice captures in bubble bursts; clear and present sounds and ‘surface’ noise emerge, electronic shards glinting, synth flutter fleeting in an oceanic void. While split neatly over 3 x 12” vinyl, it’s one long flow on CD, which suits, as, though head-nod moments may occur, Immerse is essentially one long dark dive into deep-sea and chthonic space.
*40 (2013), a massive set of ‘industrial dub techno and click-doom,’ assembles 10+ years of previously unreleased Periskop material into 1 vinyl LP and 39 bonus albums on a custom-made USB-key; also available as a free download via periskop.cc.
Immerse is available on Kabalion.