9 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The stark photo of a casket’s rope gracing the cover of The Haxan Cloak’s 2013 album should alert listeners that this isn’t your average dinner-party electronica. That’s not to say Excavation isn’t beautiful. From the low, looped drones of the ghostly intro “Consumed” to the nightmarish 13-minute closing epic “The Drop,” Excavation is a magnificent manifestation of darkness. The Haxan Cloak is actually London-based sound designer Bobby Krlic. Where his 2011 eponymous debut album mused on themes of death, Excavation follows with Krlic’s instrumental inspirations of songs that soundtrack an afterlife. The title track starts with a seamless collage of claustrophobic drones and tones that close in on the listener before dissolving into a slowed-heartbeat rhythm. It’s like being buried alive. The song's second movement flutters with alien textures and sounds that sweep in and out of a hard-panned mix. Though Krlic claims these recordings don’t allude to heaven or hell, the wailing and weeping strings in “Mara”—combined with a swooshing beat that approximates the swinging of the reaper’s blade—suggest a southbound journey.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The stark photo of a casket’s rope gracing the cover of The Haxan Cloak’s 2013 album should alert listeners that this isn’t your average dinner-party electronica. That’s not to say Excavation isn’t beautiful. From the low, looped drones of the ghostly intro “Consumed” to the nightmarish 13-minute closing epic “The Drop,” Excavation is a magnificent manifestation of darkness. The Haxan Cloak is actually London-based sound designer Bobby Krlic. Where his 2011 eponymous debut album mused on themes of death, Excavation follows with Krlic’s instrumental inspirations of songs that soundtrack an afterlife. The title track starts with a seamless collage of claustrophobic drones and tones that close in on the listener before dissolving into a slowed-heartbeat rhythm. It’s like being buried alive. The song's second movement flutters with alien textures and sounds that sweep in and out of a hard-panned mix. Though Krlic claims these recordings don’t allude to heaven or hell, the wailing and weeping strings in “Mara”—combined with a swooshing beat that approximates the swinging of the reaper’s blade—suggest a southbound journey.

TITLE TIME
1:39
8:09
4:13
3:13
5:37
3:10
7:07
5:12
12:57

About The Haxan Cloak

With a name that sounds like that of an extreme pagan metal outfit, the Haxan Cloak's sound couldn't be further away from the image it conjures up. The pseudonym of British multi-instrumentalist Bobby Krlic, the Haxan Cloak's origins started in Krlic's last year at university. Krlic was born and raised in Yorkshire, England, and his parents instilled a love of music in the youngster, his mother being a Northern soul DJ when she was a teenager and his father a keen guitarist. A discovery of hip-hop and electronic music at 16 left its mark on the young Krlic and he set about creating his own take on folktronica. A university course in sound and visual art opened Krlic's eyes to the possibility of making music in a whole different way, and after buying a cheap violin and cello, he quickly picked up the basics after playing along to recordings by the Dirty Three.

Recording in his spare time, Krlic finished university and in 2009 he self-released the limited-edition The Haxan Cloak CD-R. Distributed by experimental metal label Aurora Borealis, the release earned Krlic a recording deal with the London-based company. With the majority of the debut album recorded, Krlic sent a couple of tracks to his former university tutor and Sub Rosa recording artist Mikhail Karikis. Karikis' experimental work with choirs added another dimension to Krlic's already dark and eerie, soundtrack-like style. His first proper release on Aurora Borealis, the cassette-only Observatory EP, arrived in 2010. Earning praise for his unique style while also being likened to Sunn 0))) and Earth, his eagerly awaited self-titled debut album, The Haxan Cloak, followed in 2011.

Krlic developed his live show throughout 2011 and while he continued with his drone-influenced sound, he slowly moved toward a more electronic style of production. At the beginning of 2012, Krlic surprised many by signing to Tri-Angle Records. Home to experimental electronic artists such as oOooO and Holy Other, the label would be the perfect place for his future output. In July 2012, Krlic released The Men Parted the Sea to Devour the Water, a nearly 30-minute live composition that nicely straddled his output on Aurora Borealis and Tri-Angle. Excavation, which expressed the soul's journey after death, arrived in April 2013. ~ Richard Wilson

  • ORIGIN
    Wakefield, Yorkshire, England
  • GENRE
    Electronic
  • BORN
    1985

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