New Discovery: Shrine


Earlier this week I stumbled upon the glorious works of Bulgarian dark ambient maestro Hristo Gospodinov, aka Shrine, and I was captivated. I’m especially enthralled by his latest release, called Ordeal 26.04.86 – which serves as a tribute to the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster of 1986.

It’s a cinematic album.  Atmospheric and chilly, dark, with heavy electronics. Hristo mixes these electronics with field recordings and samples, which helps create a soundscape fitting for its cause of honoring this god forsaken day in the history of man.

And I say ”heavy”, but at the same time I’d like to say that it’s a relatively accessible album. Relatively! It’s lightyears away from pop, of course, but it’s also not Stahlwerk 9-heavy. It’s not a full on sonic assault. It’s haunting, of course, and it demands attention and focus from its listener, but the sheer beauty of the album is something that most people would recognize if they were to give it a chance.

The album is released on the formidable Cyclic Law label – home of Allseits, Beyond Sensory Experience, Desiderii Marginis, AUN, Kammarheit, Cities Last Broadcast and so on. Hands down, the best dark ambient label out there (sorry Cryo Chamber and Steinklang). And this release ranks among its finest!

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