MP3 Ahasverus - Ten is the number
Dark ambient with electro-acoustic influences and experimental concrete sounds.
6 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Experimental, AVANT GARDE: Sound Art
"Sehr guter experimenteller drone / dark ambient aus Schweden mit elektro-akustischem Einschlag, d.h. viele cut-ups & Wechsel, weniger urlange Flächen, eher auf einzelne Sounds konzentriert; trotzdem sehr dunkel & einnehmend, grollend, erdig, mächtig, mysteriös... In der Tat kommt Henrik Summanen, der Mann hinter AHASVERUS, eigentlich aus der Elektro-Akustik / Neue Musik-Ecke, öffnet sich aber jetzt dem "Underground"... sehr zu empfehlen, da hier das Genre eindrucksvoll erweitert wird!"
"Behind the name Ahasverus one finds Henrik Summanen, this time in a more soundscaping mood than usual. Ten is the Number is style-wise somewhere between dark ambient and electro-acoustics, in a very interesting way. It is a space built of composed pieces that create a singular scene. Summanen''s trade marks, waves of massively rolling bubbly background drones, are omnipresent throughout the album. From an ambient perspective one might say that all tracks are very much alike, but as compositions they are actually highly different.
The finest interpretations of this concept are on the cliche-named but otherwise magnificent "Nothingness Lies Coiled in the Heart of being" and on the ending track, the retro-sound piece "The Long Angel". All of the rest is great stuff, too, especially when listened to as a whole album. That way the nuances benefit from being compared with similar, yet still very different ideas on the other tracks. There is one exception, "Formation", which uses things like broken-down chorals. It breaks the mood, but not too badly.
At least from the viewpoint of an industrial critic, it seems that the further Summanen dares to extend his concepts, the more interesting music he produces. He is clearly an artist capable of seeing the best parts on both sides of the musical fence.
This is an album definitely worth noticing, especially for friends of drone-based music.
-Jiituomas, Kuolleen Musiikin Yhdistys (Finland)"
DIY. Way to go. Fuck flogging your sorry ass and begging / hawking your stuff to record labels to get a release for your music. The repeated rejections eventually start sapping life and will. Be your own label. Release whatever music you make at cheap as chip prices. One in the eye to ‘the man’ everywhere. Which is exactly what Henrik Summanen did. This Swedish musician copied old Frank Sinatra and did it his way. Check out his website for more releases. He doesn’t rest on his laurels.
"Ten is the number" sees this classical musician working within the spectrum of experimental dark ambience and absolutely super duper it is too. He…Henrik…likens it part to drone style music… which I don’t readily agree with. Perhaps part musique concrete would be nearer the mark for this is what I identified with throughout the six tracks. Almost sub NWW to some extents. Anyway I’m not going to argue over frivolities as the perceptions of music change from person to person depending on how they actually hear it themselves.
What this recording represents is one mans feel for the darker side to electronic music. Within these tracks all manner of suitably dense and rasping sounds can be found. There’s a fluidity to the pieces that can often be found in the music produced by Lustmord etc that takes on an almost spatial sheen. The music is fairly dense and dank with a hint of creeping foreboding penetrating throughout. All the pieces segue into each other making it sound like on e complex whole instead of individual parts. He even introduces faint voices and other almost organic effects into the mix to keep the venture interesting… which undoubtedly works within this framework.
‘Ten is the number’ gives an interesting insight into the mind of this musician. He’s tackled the well worn ambient genre with aplomb and although not groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination this is a qualified success for trying a different musical direction. Dark ambient purveyors will most definitely enjoy the experience that "Ten is the number" invokes. Anyone interested in sound manipulation should also give this a look in. Releasing his recordings on his own label, this one to 100 copies, has given him a personal freedom of choice that may not otherwise have been made available… a lesson to all budding musicians / moguls everywhere.
Avec un background plutôt orienté vers les musiques abstraites et électro-acoustiques le suédois Henrik Summanen se lance dans la découverte des atmosphères dark-ambient qui pourtant sont légions dans son pays natal. Belle ouverture d''esprit que de confronter sa propre conception du son à un univers qu''il semble peu connaître, de son propre aveu. Ainsi ''Ten is the number'' a la couleur d''un album de dark-ambient en raison de sa tonalité sombre assortie aux intitulés des compositions et aux visuels de l''album. Une vision mystique qui n''emprunte pas le sentier habituel du genre mais tend à y insérer juste ce qu''il faut, sans noyer le propos sous des tonnes de basses ou de nappes et par là même oublier sa propre démarche. ''Ten is the number'' est donc assez minimaliste, les basses sont présentes mais servent essentiellemnt de toiles de fond, le premier plan est réservé à des séquences electro-acoustiques qui reproduisent les mêmes effets d''engloutissement que les nappes de synthés pures. Une écoute attentive est la seule solution pour s''immerger dans une atmosphère cotonneuse mais inquiétante : aucune mélodie, les compositions s''étirent plus ou moins en longueur sans véritablement définir un début ou une fin. Et c''est là la particularité de cet album, le refus de l''évidence et la participation pleine des sens de l''auditeur pour percevoir et ressentir la musique de Ahasverus. Cela peut par moment être également une source d''ennui, peu de variations explicites et une linéarité faussement manifeste rendant l''ensemble assez froid. Il reste que le travail de Summanen relève d''une grande précision et l''on peut espérer que la suite sera tout autant digne d''intérêt. (jeudi 18 mai 2006).
Guts of darkness
Dark ambient from the eerie depths of the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities.
In the Book of Esther, Ahasverus is the Hebrew name for King Xerxes I of Persia. In Medieval Christian theology, however, Ahasverus is the name given to the "Wandering Jew", condemned to roam through time and space by Jesus (whom he reported gave a shove in the back on his way toward the Crucifixion) to serve as a restless, Cain-like soul who traverses the earth as a reminder of Jewish collective sin for having betrayed Christ.
So to whom does Henrik Summanen, the bearer of this pseudonym, mean to refer? In light of the desolate, hopeless sound of the music, the latter would seem the right guess. On the other hand, the number ten is also highly significant in Jewish theology, ranging from the ten lost tribes to the ten sephirot of the Kabbalah. And the liner notes (partly in Hebrew) and the track titles (including overt ones like the opening track "En Soph", a central Kabbalistic concept) do seem to indicate that a kind of Frankensteinian take on Judaic mysticism is very much the source of inspiration.
Summanen is what people like to call a "hobby" musician, making music on his leisure time since 1995. This however is the first recording by him to reach my ears, so I obviously cannot comment on how it stacks up to previous work. On its own merits then, Ten is the Number is a rich collection of cavernous sounds deftly processed and truly disquieting, especially when a disembodied choir is briefly introduced on "His Throne is of Fiery Flame".
Wish there were more "hobby musicians" with such talent. Visit his site quickly, as this first run is limited to a mere 100 copies.
Stephen Fruitman: Sonomu
People who are interested in Lustmord should consider this download.