Observatory EP Observatory EP


The Haxan Cloak The Haxan CloakObservatory EP

8 / 10

The Haxan Cloak  Observatory EP AURORA BOREALIS (ABX053, 12” + digital)

Of all the new occultists - hiding in their labs across the UK - Bobby Krlic is one of the most fascinating. His debut album, “The Haxan Cloak”, inhabits the space of terror and solitude fenced, each in their own way, by artists like Demdike Stare, Sunn O))) and Raime. In his music there are elements of new goth, hauntology and drone; characterised by heavy attacks of doom metal, filtered through an almost transparent noise, leading to an exhausting climax. This 12” compliments the album and is a gift for the early fans of his esoteric cult (which uses the “Häxan” language, used in Scandinavia to refer to witchcraft – see the 1922 Danish film by Benjamin Christensen of the same title). It’s a gift in its difference from the album: it’s older (released before on cassette in an edition of 30 copies), flirting with techno, or at least, techno according to The Haxan Cloak.

Each of the two tracks are almost eight minutes long, unfolding and building slowly, layer upon layer. “Observatory” has a smooth and constant tempo; it sounds like something The Knife would compose, as the rite of passage to some secret society (with rhythms that sound like they were made with pieces of wood and a never-ending organ loop). Whilst “Hounfour” sounds like The Haxan Cloak’s battle with light; the patterns and textures (there are hardly any beats) lead to a happy end - a calm ecstasy - though there is always something disturbing lurking in the background, as if to stop things from being too easy. Ultimately, this EP raises the question: is Bobby Krlic better here than then on the album? I would say he hits better when it’s short.

Robert Gras


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