AMN Reviews: Tunnels of Ah – Charnel Transmissions (2018; Cold Spring Records)

Tunnels of Ah is Stephen Ah Burroughs and Charnel Transmissions is his fifth major release under this moniker. Not exactly ambient nor drone, Burroughs uses electroacoustic manipulations of both of these approaches as well as other stylings to evoke a sound somewhere between industrial and musique concrète. Distorted noise walls crumble and processed voices haunt these five medium-length tracks. The drone elements mimic the consequential sounds of high-speed travel as they undulate and echo in a prickly and metallic fashion. Non-specific percussion comes and goes.

The feel on Charnel Transmissions is one of melancholy and alienation. Alone in an unknown landscape, you are haunted by scattered vocalizations and ancient machines operating according to obscure mechanisms. And when you can make out the words of the disembodied voices, they only add to your growing trepidation. This is an unclassifiable and compelling release that spans multiple subgenres.

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