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Za Frûmi - Legends Act 3 - Cults

Za Frûmi - Legends Act 4 - Orders

Simon Heath and Simon Kölle, who collectively evoke cinematic-like vistas through their musical organ: Za Frûmi, return to their dark, imaginary world in the form of two new releases: Legends Act 3 and Legends Act 4; addressing, respectively, both the 'Cults' and 'Orders' of that world. As ever, with Waerloga Records the presentation of the overall package is paramount and these releases are presented in digipack form exhibiting a subtle artwork and including a comprehensive booklet outlying the role of each 'Cult' or 'Order' within the world in which they exist and, at times, plunder.

Legends Act 3 - Cults is comprised of eleven tracks with each representing a particular 'Cult'. Most tracks begin with narrative sounds (comprised from field-recordings and representing real sounds, such as that of nature) which serve to create an aural environment wherein the listener may establish an image, or images, from the sounds and noises which construct many of the tracks. A hoof-fall, running water, the wind or the uneasy creak of a timber all coalesce to form a canvas upon which Za Frûmi compositions can find context and evolve. At times the music is deeply percussive and strident, almost processional as it drives forward, on occasion, in a cine-narrative structure. To maintain such the writing and execution of the pieces must be well conceived and performed and, thankfully, Za Frûmi do not disappoint. Indeed, the musical structure when coupled with various field-recordings give Cults a sense of the openness but, a landscape wounded with an architecture of madness and wanton blood-letting. The tracks gel to convey a desolate and merciless world. 'The Cult of Mortalis' manages to flesh this world through myriad sounds through which a fog of ritual chants and vocal effects drift; the effect continues with 'The Cult of Helzichor' which is filled with an adept layering of haunting sounds and melody which serve to sustain the narrative and musical streams that flow through Cults. The result of which is a very singular and, at times, personal listening experience as Za Frûmi's compositions provide a sense of place and hints as to the ongoing within such as the clash of steel or a galloping horse. Thereby the listener is able to contribute to the scene, as it were, by colouring the scene with their imagination following the sound clues laid by Za Frûmi - it becomes, almost an interactive experience.

Legends Act 4 - Orders again follows the sequence of its predecessor by containing eleven tracks, this time each representative of an 'Order'. With the music and field-recordings employed on this CD there is a deeply Chthonian world of hidden lore and treachery evoked. Sounds such as dripping water and cavernous atmospheres slowly build at the beginning of each track before giving rise to the music which is performed on a number of instruments such as keyboard, wind, string or percussion which stir up terrible vistas. What Za Frûmi prove themselves capable of through these two releases is that they can imbue a cinematic like quality to their work as there is a sense of movement and characterization within each track that establishes the missing element - that of 'seeing' and that is the aspect contributed by the listener. Legends Act 4 has even found itself featured in an Italian historical art documentary and fans of previous Legends releases include such luminaries as Ennio Morricone, John Malkovich and Oliver Stone - underling the cinematic vein evinced through both these CD's.

Both are convincing releases in that they comprise what their composers set out to realize - a sensorial tale through which the audience travels over varying soundscapes with the imagined protagonists and are ably structured enough to be two of the foremost compositions in a rather obscure, but emerging, genre of music. For more information go to (review by Michael Cunningham)