Review: Mammoth Ulthana - Particular Factors

a4131961850_16Particular Factors is an ode to the awakening of instruments. When the minutiae of composition are stripped away, all that remains is the consequence of movement, impact and resonance: sound shuddering through objects and gifting voice to the inanimate; metallic materials clanging in sonorous, glistening tones that reflect their very shape and nuance; drums bellowing and wobbling in proclamation of rich, irrefutable truths. There’s a wonderfully satisfying polarity at play: while the energy driving the limbs of Mammoth Ulthana is meditative – calling upon the desires and visions of the spiritually transcendent self – the ultimate means of manifestation is via primal, visceral vibration. Clangs, clatters, jangles, ripples, thuds, rumbles. The body becomes a puppet dangling beneath the clouds of higher consciousness, enacting a vibrant, fluid symphony of colliding chimes, wailing horns and rattled objects.

Drones run through the gaps between percussive activity. The soundscapes are fractured by thick, foamy surges of low notes or heavily processed strands of noise, which pass through the frame like gentle winds or streams bubbling over Mammoth Ulthana’s bare feet. On “Tombs”, the drone hangs like a fog through which the instruments find and lose eachother constantly, calling out in bleats of horn or rattles of tiny bells, sending probes of distress and contentment through the haze. Yet on “Sove”, the drone rises out of the earth like a mountain sprouting all by itself, rising upon layers of distortion and phaser, glistening with the impact of overtonal sunlight. The earthly instrumentation disappears from view as the drone climbs higher, as though material existence is melting away to leave nothing but a radiant, uninhibited sensation of awakening.