Since when is Schneider TM evil? Having never experienced the Angel sound before, I saw that the German glitch-popper was a member (as his true self, Dirk Dresselhaus) and thus expected a more Mego type of twist. Then I noticed that Ilpo V?is?nen from Pan Sonic was a co-founder, so I expected some harsh rhythms and pummeling slivers of glass. But wait, Hildur Gu?nad?ttir?s here too, and since she contributed some amazing cello drones to her collaboration with BJ Nilsen and Stilluppsteypa last year, I was confused. And when I realized Sunn O))) doomer Stephen O?Malley designed third album ?Kalmukia??s booklet, I gave up, threw out the press release and just listened to the thing.
?Kalmukia? is, not surprisingly, an amalgamation of the above pedigrees, with the exception of Schneider TM?s typically shiny veneer. Four tracks spreading across 58 bleak minutes, the album often sneaks up on loveliness before veering back into discordant gloom at the last second. ?Bones in the Sand? serves up some dusty doom, like a narcoleptic Earth. ?Kalmukia?The Discovery, Wiring, Invasion? rides Hildur?s cello along a more desperate Dirty Three mood, while menace and spit gather in the drones. At twenty minutes the track has plenty of time to delve into more abstract, even musique concr?te terrain before bubbling to a close.
The cello is what keeps ?Kalmukia? from being merely an alien landscape. Its majesty balances the other two members? dark scraping and droning and makes me really eager to hear Gu?nad?ttir?s Touch debut. Angel, however, present a worthy beast of their own, with just enough blackness to make me want to throw on some Burzum and just enough ambience to make me not do it. 7/10 -- Michael Wehunt (29 January, 2008)