oh/ex/oh – The House in the Woods

‘The House in the Woods’ is another work of strongly evocative drone; drifting, breathing and sighing, from a rather excellent producer of night music.  oh/ex/oh’s previous album, the excellent ‘Extant’ offered up visions of depopulated landscapes and crumbling civilization; this release leaves space for people or, at least, invisible stalking things with unfeasible amounts of tentacles and hooked teeth.

‘The House in the Woods’ has a horror film aesthetic, complete with an opening distributors ident before we get into the business at hand, which is fiercely spooky, but beautiful, ambient washes of celestial hum and dread filled whispers.  ‘Stay Asleep’ is particularly effective, a steady build of tension, a sustained swirling fog of synths and rumbling wind; its length and subtly flexing arrangement lending it a hypnotic quality.  ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ is almost like Shackleton remixing John Carpenter; woodblock hits and sparse percussion collide with pulsing bass figures and gusts of guitar noise.  ‘Beneath the Water’ is a nightmare in sound, seeming to ooze into the ears; the  fuzzed bass twists and contorts slowly like ink, or blood, dripping into water.

This is another engaging release from a painter of strongly visual sound-pictures.  You can’t hide behind the sofa for this one, the music fills the room and your mind, haunting you even after it finally fades to silence. 

The film dims to black and the credits roll, your name on every line.

Purchase the album here.

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