Sova Stroj :: Refugium (Testtoon)

Refugium is sobering LP that challenges the listener and compels them to not only think, but to reflect; a difficult feat in these busy times.

When all falls silent, what do you hear?
When consciousness rests, what do you see?
When night falls, who do you miss?

The press release for Sova Stroj’s latest album reads more like an excerpt from a movie ad than a record. Refugium is the follow up to the 2016 LP Silent Earth, the above text making that link between past and present. And the past ideas of Silent Earth are certainly present on this latest.

Refugium explores a different world, a changed world. A place where the helter-skelter panic of our daily routine has been forgotten. The clatter of the keyboard. The chatter at the smartphone. The rumble of trains. All have been replaced by expanses of time and sound. “Schlaf Und Traum” stretches a key, allowing it to resonate and bulge, into a far off dark distance. Other pieces, such as “Nivian” or “Crossing” are of a more lonesome quality. Huge tracts of sound meet the listener, above which sail notes in an infinite of grey and white. Night comes in the sombre strings of “Lethe.” Behind the groaning chords croaks a voice, indecipherable and lost in a gaping audio chasm.

There are lighter moments, as in the binary bleep of “Crépuscule” where bird song is emulated using high pitched chirps and trills which call back and forth against a hollow massif of echo. Despite such warmer moments, it is the wideness, the almost terrifying grandness, which is Sova Stroj’s unit of measure. The album is something of a soundtrack to wilderness. The enormous plains that once remained untouched, dense forests that were once unseen, a soundtrack where main plays a poor second fiddle to the awe of nature. Refugium is sobering LP that challenges the listener and compels them to not only think, but to reflect; a difficult feat in these busy times.

Refugium is available on Testtoon.

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