Kosmodrom – Conquest of Space

The fourth 2016 release of Kosmodrom continues the fascinating exploration of space and Sfi-Fi based Harsh Noise wall. Conquest of Space flies its space shuttle right in the same track as the project’s other releases (made very close in time to this one), and was released in November through Altar of Waste on cassette in 50 copies. These ultra limited editions may actually be somewhat too ultra limited for Kosmodrom, because this should really have some appeal beyond the most rabid HNW crowd (who, however much we at Archaic Triad love them, are not that many). To the extent that this untapped demand exists, and you have it, you may buy a digital version from the band here.

So, what’s up this time? The first track, the title “Thousand miles out from the Earth” showcasing Kosmodrom’s fascination with an old-school science fiction conception of the universe, begins somewhat carefully. There are some drones, some warm up noise if you will, before the wall hits. For the duration of the 15 minute long track, which occupies all of the A-side of the tape, it keeps on shredding, but with plenty of other noises and synths spacing out all over the place. There are little melodies, reverberated feedback, star twinkling bleeps and planterary killing bloops. Even a couple of extra bass notes, competing with the uninterrupted rumbling of the distorted noisewall, attacks from somewhere below.

The B-side is also occupied by a lonesome, 15-minute track – “…Which May Be Mars, Or Hell” (an allusion to a character in the movie after which the tape takes its name). It begins menacingly with a slightly held back, swaying electronic note, but then the wall rolls in, at times disturbed in its conquest of space by careful synth and pedal work. In the end, the wall subsides, and a droning loop fades out to silence (cassette hissing for those of us privileged enough to own the tape version). Another journey pushing the limits of the HNW genre without going all bananas about it.

While this is largely improvised, it also shows very clearly what huge potential exists in HNW as a genre. You don’t have to do breakbeats or screaming japnoise to use the basic monotony, solidity and power of Harsh Noise Wall in ways moving beyond the uninterrupted, unchanging Vomir-type wall (which, after all, Vomir does best, though he has a few competent competitors doing their own thing in the same genre).

As usual, the influences of the tape are listed on the cover, but this time it’s simply the famous 1955 movie “Conquest of Space” and another Hawkwind album – In search of space. A solid shortlist of influences for a very complex piece of non-music, possibly this reviewer’s favorite from Komsodrom so far.

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