G-Nox – Ventre

g-noxBuilt as a single sonic event, Gerome Nox's "Ventre" unfolds like a weatherman's nightmare. It's like getting caught in an isolation tank with a box full of howling air. Cut off from any sensory input from the external world, all you can hear is the wind; all that invades your head are the sounds which have been caught up in the contrail of the wind and which spin past in its wake as it loops around you. "Ventre #1, Part 6," the 17-minute centerpiece to the record, begins as a small storm, a tiny charge of thunder being blown across the sky. The sonic weight of the clouds and the wind start carefully and they build systematically throughout the course of the track so that, by the end, you are caught in a full-on force four hurricane of wind and electricity. "Ventre #1, Part 2" throws off the gentle ambience of "Ventre #1, Part 1" and lashes out with cascading sheets of sound and thick, repetitive beats like the ominous approach of fat thunderheads. Imagine Winterkälte doing Lull-style dark ambience. "Ventre #1, Part 3" lays you down in the center of the storm; the track settles into a stretch of calm air — still, placid air — and you can almost hear the distant tonal echo of bells. Of course, the calm doesn't last, and "Ventre #1, Part 4" whips back into motion, the sonic landscape becoming terrorized by the movement of the razor wind again. A radio transmission is added to the mix.

Even electronic voices are unable to break free of the vortex of the wind, and during "Ventre #1, Part 5," we are afforded another recess from the hurricane winds, caught up in echoes and reverberations of the voice which has been shattered and reconstructed again by the febrile fingers of the wind. "Ventre #2" undulates slowly, rising from the lost echoes of the "Ventre #1, Part 6." The storm has passed, but there is a tiny maelstrom which comes quick on its heels. The energies coalesce until your head is once again filled with caustic wind and spitting electricity. It isn't noise, it is too rarified — the thick bands of static are too precisely modulated. Ventre scours the sandstone of your brain, carving out canyons and gulleys with its passage. It is as if Gerome Nox has taken Chris Watson's impeccable field recordings of wind and found the underlying melodies and lyrical structures of the natural sound. This is a tough one to wrap your head around, but ultimately, a compelling fascination with the wind running through your head will win out. File under Sonata for Wind in Seven Movements. Recommended.