AMN Reviews: Jeton Hoxha – Vowel (2018; Eighth Tower Records)

Macedonian Jeton Hoxha recorded a live performance just a few months ago for this 44-minute, single-track album. His process was described as “based on loopy electro-acoustic sound created by sources like field recordings, computer & synthesizer being processed through various filters, plug-ins and hardware signal processing.” The auditory effect of this is a long, multi-faceted drone with an ominous feel.

The track begins at very low volume and slowly ramps to a dense layer of eerie noise with a lilting high-frequency melody.  Gradually, the intensity grows and the main drone takes on a sinusoidal character. Multiple walled voices join in, along with patterns of bells. Following this is a long, rumbling drone that morphs into processed machine noise with the aforementioned high-frequency elements.  Eventually, the bells return, as does the melody, but this time in a lower register and clear enough to be reminiscent of a twisted take on Phillip Glass.  In particular, the falling pattern of notes is (perhaps unintentionally) similar to the coda of Koyaanisqatsi.

Fans of Lustmord and the darker side of Robert Rich will find much to like here, as will those who enjoy post-ambient / industrial crossovers. Vowel is an oppressive and baleful journey through a rift in spacetime – and well worth the effort.