Music for an imaginary deep mental abstract excursion.
1. Aquatic Movement
3. Scintillans In The Port
5. Dock Operations
6. Metaphysical Storm
7. Profundal Storm
8. Saltwater Intrusion
9. Descending Radius Curve
10. Voices from the Deep
Art: Lasse Kusk
Images: B. Bunnik
The man like Conforce joins the Echocord label as Silent Harbour, exploring notions of isolation, deep-sea submersion, aquatic environments and all the abstract ambiance such places entail. Ambient industrial techno that will scare the bejesus out of you… Stick on the headhones and crank up the volume…
Halcyon – Albert Freeman
It’s no secret that Holland’s emergent polymath producer Borris Bunnik has been unstoppable in the last year or so. Since the beginning of 2011, he has at least 9 releases on various labels to his name under his different aliases: Versalife on Clone West Coast Series, Conforce splitting between Delsin and Clone Basement Series, and odd one-offs like Vernon Felicity, Mi-24, and K2vx spread out across other reputed underground labels like Field Records, Other Heights, and Clone’s Store Only Series, and this doesn’t even count a stack of remixes also under his belt. It’s also led to accusations that he’s been spreading himself a bit thin even if they haven’t played out as much in the music as in the forums, but the degree to which the producer took such talk seriously has now shown itself with his newest project, Silent Harbour. Described by Bunnik as “non-linear techno”, the self-titled album released on Denmark’s respected Echocord imprint sees him in his most abstract mode to-date and again shows impressive results and promising new directions for the now-established talent.
Boasting another one of Bunnik’s striking photographs on the cover, the spare black-and-white artwork gives a few hints as to the rather downcast music he’s chosen to unveil under the new moniker. He’s released scattered productions that touch on the kind of sparse, dark sound he embraces here, but it’s safe to say he’s never earned the well-deserved comparisons to Demdike Stare or newer Andy Stott that many of these tracks certainly suggest. Even at its most driving, Bunnik has stripped the Detroit influences that formed the emotional basis of his previous work and traded them for a much more alien soundscape that shows long hours of studio work; there’s still hints of pad harmony here and there, but they’re surrounded by a minefield of dirty, blackened electronics. The most abstract pieces occupy well over half of the album’s length and move into unprecedented areas for him: long stretches of unsettling, dystopian ambience, forays into dark, downtempo Dub experiments more reminiscent of Andreas Tillander‘s recent work as Mokira or Kondens than anything Conforce has ever been responsible for, and washed-out, skeletal beat tracks that never quite coalesce into proper Techno. At the center of the album are four of these dancefloor approximations that fall into various degrees of similarity to previous Conforce efforts and occupy a scant third of the album’s length. More radical are the Berlin-built Cascade or the aptly-titled Profundal Zone, which restructure his Techno sound for more shadowy environs and add layers of damaged electronics to the atmospherics of his more dancefloor-centered work. The middle two, Geometry and Metaphysical Storm, are also the more conservative, but the smart sequencing places them at the center of this brief déjà vu before he dives into the no-looking-back final third.
If Bunnik’s well-crafted previous output put him on the map as a producer to watch, Silent Harbour is the sound of him taking all he has learned up until now and unifying it while simultaneously taking far more liberties with experimentation and exploration of deeper soundscapes. It’s a direction that’s bound to lose some of those that have followed thus far, but more open-minded observers can be satisfied with some of his most fully-realized music yet that fully lives up to the evocative ideas his work has only suggested up until now.
Boris Bunnik (Conforce) expresses “music for an imaginary deep mental abstract excursion” under the Silent Harbour moniker for Echocord. As his multifarious operations have shown, Boris is a dab hand in the studio, and Silent Harbour is the place to find those machine emissions which would never quite reach the ‘floor. Operating on the cusp of ambient Techno and electro-acoustic music, he shapes sheer scapes from elemental source material, rendering his sounds diffuse until we glimpse hallucinatory tones in the gloaming dissonance. 4/4 anchored rhythms are fractured, percussions sent to scout the perimeters while the vast space between becomes playground to radiant metallic timbres and strafing electronic apparitions. Music for Techno heads to fall into when the kicks are too much.
I got hold of this very nice album as a birthday gift from Kenneth Christiansen the label boss of the wonderful label Echocord and co-owner of the fantastic club Culture Box.
And from the get go with the opening track “Aquatic Movement” i was hooked by the stream of dubby niceness that flowed over me! That first track set the standard..! Slowly and gently i got swept into the land of nod, blissful i kept on listening as i got my ears washed clean with something very nice that moved me in the very right way… And hey i’m still on that first track!
Next up comes the rumbling “Decending Radius Curve” and that’s it I’m in heaven, in short terms this is just eargasmic and the rest of the album just keep on seducing you with the lushest of tracks like “Dock Operations” that is a Drone track that is perfect when you reach out and try to touch the stars followed by next Drone piece “Euphotic Depth”, just heavenly…
And when you are just drifting off, in comes “Geometry”, “Methaphysical Storm” and “Profundal Zone” and set you straight with even more dubby sounds and a rhythm just fast enough to wake you up so you get ready for “Saltwater Intrusion”, Scintillians In The Port” and then “Voices From The Deep” that closes this album with submerging deep bass and a crackling sound that just freebases throughout this wonderful last track of an album that is on my top 10 of this year already…
In short terms, you are in for a treat so when this album get released go get your copy and just lay down and get counted for!
Man of many aliases (Conforce, K2vx, Mi-24, Vernon Facility, Versalife) Boris Bunnik launches another pseudonym, Silent Harbour, with an album of quiet atmospherics on Denmark’s bastion of all things deep and ambient, Echochord. While his more familiar Conforce work is bluntly rhythmical and formidably dancefloor focused, Silent Harbour is an altogether more out-there beast. Blessed with his usual keen ear for atmospherics, much of the material sits somewhere between sparse ambience, hypnotic dub techno and glitchy IDM. It makes for an enjoyable and rewarding listen, as Bunnik flits between bubbling mood pieces of “Profundal Zone”, smacked-out soundscapes such as “Saltwater Intrusion” the and icy introspection that characterizes “Movement”.
The gradually rising sense of creeping forebodement evoke the mental imagery of Demdike Stare swapping Greater Mancunia for the depths of the Mediterranean sea.
With its elongated fade-in, booming sub bass and dubbed atmospherics, opener ‘Aquatic Movement’ is a dead ringer for this week’s other dub techno masterpiece by Deepchord. Here, though, it quickly makes way for a more abstract take on eerie industrial soundscapes sounding not unlike the anti-music of Demdike Stare and their brethren. The sound of terrifying isolated factories is the name of the game on ‘Cascade’ whereas ‘Scintillans in the port’ delves deep into underground murk whilst shards of discordant metallic clanking emerge from the debris.
It’s a relief then when ‘Dock Operations’ re-introduces something more akin to standard beats into the structure sounding like Gescom at 16rpm. For me, a little more lightness wouldn’t go amiss but otherwise it’s a decent take on dark eerie electronica.
Delsin and Rush Hour fixture Conforce has announced the release of his debut album as Silent Harbour. Bordering on a more “cerebral and conceptual sound”, the album is set to appear in August on Danish dub techno label Echochord…
Beats and beyond
Dutch producer Boris Bunnik has been releasing numerous brilliant house and techno grooves since 2007. As Silent Harbour, the producer follows a more dubby/ambient direction. His debut album is said to be focusing on “isolation, deep-sea submersion, [and] aquatic environments”, which immediately made us think of those classic Drexciya and Aquanauts releases. Should be brilliant.
Nowamuzyka.pl (google translate)
We all know Boris Bunnik made under the banner of Conforce – two albums made by him has left a strong imprint on modern techno. But coming from the Netherlands, the manufacturer has also created several other signboards slightly different music. An example of this might be his first album Silent Harbour branded name, was published by the Danish label Echocord.
Bunnik before the release of this album announced that it will be more experimental material. I actually – kept his word. Opening a whole “Aquatic Movement” contains the threads have known of his earlier accomplishments. This slowed down the broken dub set the pulse, which corroded the waves are flooding the lengthy dreamlike tone sounds. You can hear echoes of the more ambient achievements Basic Channel – as well as placed a little further, “Dock Operations”. This time, rhythmically vibrating bass chords wrapped around vibrating zdubowanych synthesizers, creating a dense mesh of sounds that resonate with them.Breaks are pending and the primer “Geometry”. Climate records coming out, however, evokes visceral compositions of wailing howl bass – supplemented by industrial effluents from a distant background.
These industrial motifs recur in the course before – because in placed right at the beginning, “Cascade”. Withdrawn far in the back of tectonic bit mechanical shock waves factory produce more noise, in-depth studio reverb. “Scintillans In The Harbour” flows majestic drone that break every now and then digital crackling and chroboty. We also find industrial sounds in the “Metaphysical Storm” – which settle on the trance created by the nervous rhythm drum machine pulse.
In “Profoundal Zone” Dutch producer enters the territory of the minimalist experiments reserved for Raster Noton artists. Cold and mechanical bits but complements in an interesting way with warm stripes of pastel keys in poetic compositions zasłuchanymi masters of Motor City. This is not the “Saltwater Intrusion” – because dimensional rhythm is here contrasted with static procession dronu Potion. Most ominous, however, “Descending Radius Curve” – because creating it disturbing whispers and knocking create a sound landscape straight from Chernobyl. The whole ends in an almost monochrome ambient isolationist version – almost as slow flowing stream of liquid sounds, subtle breaks ticking friendly keys (“Voices From The Deep”).
New project Bunnik Boris is an intriguing excursion into the world of post-industrial experiments. Constituent record on one side rooted in the club taken out of context and achievements Ernestus Von Oswald, on the other hand – in the industrial preparacjach a reduced level of aggression in the style of the Werkbund Cranioclast. Dutch manufacturer gives these inspirations, however, a clear mark of copyright material – as well as hear it echo the achievements in others signs, from the Versalife Conforce. Do not miss this CD – it’s an interesting example of an unbroken connection techno, dub and electronic avant-garde.
Boris Bunnik launches yet another project in addition to his Conforce and Versalife guises: Silent Harbour’s debut album oscillates between the poles of ‘broken’ dub techno and drone electronica, with adding touches of funk and electronica contributing to a mesmerizing and dramatically flowing album. Highly recommended!