Rites of Fall returns with 'Venoms', the latest offering on Leidforschung. Two years in the making, 'Venoms' reintroduces Bartek Kuszewski's Rites of Fall project with a fresh musical approach, or what he describes as “a clash between [his] different musical personalities”. This is music with an electronic backbone, but it also draws heavily on live instrumentation, improvised elements, noise, dub and industrial music to create a sound that's entirely his own. At times reminiscent of Forest Swords or Eomac in his use of distorted percussion, winding repetitive melodic lines and ambient textures, across these 8 tracks Rites of Fall additionally showcases a penchant for cinematic grandeur and dramatic flair, calling to mind Ulver or Tangerine Dream at its bleakest. Filthy synthesisers, enveloping atmospheres and punchy rhythms evoke images of desolate landscapes or abandoned industrial complexes overtaken by the overpowering force of the environment.
Thematically, 'Venoms' ventures deeply inwards, exploring themes of chaotic nature - developing through self-destruction, generational trauma or subconscious behavioural patterns. The sounds on the album range from contact mic recordings of abandoned trains to e-bowed guitars and FM synths; they are Kuszewski's sonic vehicle for exploring decay and also an attempt to create a sense of reality and physicality. Many of the sounds were granulated, re-synthesized, as the Polish producer attempted to mould them into sounds simultaneously familiar and alien. His shift in perspective and approach is also reflected in the rhythmic variety on 'Venoms' far from the usual 4/4 techno bleakness, imbuing the tracks with a notable timelessness and peculiar evolutions.
The first single “Bloodline” moves at a blistering pace with shuffling rhythms and cinematic stabs accentuating simple melodies, the title suggesting some kind of ancestral excavations. “Four Billion Thorns” moves into more industrial territory with clanking percussive elements paving the way for a propelling beat and thrilling intertwining synthesisers. The title track is a distortion-laden masterpiece, first showcasing Kuszewski's masterful manipulation of synthesis, then his prowess at beat programming. The latter part of the album moves into more tribal, mystical territory, culminating in the closing “The Revenge of Animals”; an incredibly well-paced, poignant finale. A touching, piercing ending to an album which proposes questions and shifts perspectives.
released October 6, 2023
Written and produced by Bartek Kuszewski
Mastered by Enyang Urbiks, Urbiks Music
Artwork by Kuba Sokólski
Layout by Marcin Łojek
Text by Adam Badí Donoval
Much of the success of She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She lies in the attention to detail that peppers even the most sedate songs. There is always a bass line, swelling synth or whispered vocal layer tapping into the beat of its heart. Killercroc