Zeljko McMullen – Disorder

‘Disorder’ is a mixture of manipulated piano, string instruments and percussion. The beauty of atmospheric soundscapes that consist of conventional instruments exclusively, is that the music sounds more natural and a little more raw than when there are synthetic soundeffects and other electronic noises involved.
The case however with McMullen is, that the sounds you would expect from the mentioned instruments are not recognisable, the instruments have been manipulated so intensely, that the natural mood of instrument-use is preserved, but the concrete sound that belong to them are more scattered, diffuse and mutilated. The soundscapes are dense and thick, like a storm of noises overcoming the listener.

In every song, the texture is complex, like tons of sounds struggling to overrule each other. It may sound a little chaotic at times, but good listening reveals that everything is carefully worked out. Each track evokes a sense of unrest, of conflict, but has serene moments too, alike the silence after a conflict, as track ‘Gently’ for example beautifully demonstrates.

I’m really impressed by this release. The ambience is very mature, very skilled and multi-layered. A good thing is that it’s much more than ‘noise fore noise’s-sake’, or ‘ambient for ambience’s sake’: the artist really knows to create an individual style with an authentic sound. The listener is warped from unrest to serenity to mysterical aural landscapes. A surprising combination of rawness and purity. Zeljko McMullen is inaccessible compared to CMI’s, Loki Foundations or Cold Springs ambient/ industrial acts, but really worth exploring, if you are up to it.

artist: Zeljko McMullen
label: Shinkoyo Records
details: 2004, 10 tracks, 70 min. [SHINKOYO 005]