German noise manipulator Baldruin (AKA Johannes Schebler) manages to create tense, terse, monochrome dystopias by the flick of a switch, the lick of white noise, the stutter of a tapped snare. So the title of his latest release Portal makes a lot of sense - a suite of otherworldly soundscapes that feels both futuristic and primordial, feral and pristine. Even the naturalistic sound of splashing water, an effect that permeates many lo-fi experimental outliers, comes through on an subdued operatic piece ironically called 'Deus Ex Machina'. The sonic mirror that Schelber holds up in Portal never reflects the expected - landscapes are refracted, vistas are distorted, hallucinations waver in and out of clarity, focus and a rooted reality. The lyrics from 'No Escape' come from the poem Night Shift by Sylvia Plath, an artist who made perverse and torn emotion from brutal, provocative imagery. Portal is a fidgety, ethereal gate to distorted parallels - come along for the ride.
Pick a clear vinyl version of Portal here.