TUNNELS OF ĀH
COLD SPRING RECORDS
Coming from former Head Of David vocalist Stephen Ah Burroughs, Tunnels Of Āh takes us somewhere else entirely from the world of noise rock and post-punk. The sound of 'Lost Corridor's is very organic, arcane and abstract. Drones are sharpened with an audible scrape of bow on string, sounding very close, especially in headphones. This gives the music a feeling of intimacy and its eldritch atmosphere a combination of the immediacy of the moment and invokes something more primal and ancient.
A spoken voice enters occasionally whispering with a portentous sounding rasp. There may be a temptation to turn the volume way up to try to decipher the words, but sometimes one is better off not knowing. This is a shaman is invoking the spirit to manifest, not a priest admonishing his flock. And if one has done this, the first seconds of 'Shattering The Black Crone' can make one jump out one's skin. Said crone, now shattered, is left in s swirling, wabbering dust of the most electronic part of the subterranean soundscape.
Track titles like 'From A Cracked Hive (Black Insect Laughter)', 'The Nightjar Sang A Kalpa Blaze' and 'A Net Of Woven Starlight' could almost be read together like a poem, the meaning of which would most likely need a pouring of esoteric light into one's trepanning hole to decipher.
Give Tunnels Of Āh acoustic instruments and reverberating catacombs and this art could be performed without compromise, like Coil as played on renaissance instruments. In a part of the world of aural artistry where so much of the aesthetic is alien, otherworldly or alienated, it could be seen as remarkable to observe what Tunnels of Āh can create without layers of electronic washes or heavy-handed applications of reverb. In fact it is hard to picture 'Lost Corridors' as having been created in a studio and not hidden under catacombs wherein are hid portals of passage between dimensions.