With Dyatlov Sana Obruent made a concept album about the mysterious deaths of nine experienced ski hikers in the northern Ural Mountains on February 2, 1959. During the night something made them rip their tents from within and flee the campsite inadequately dressed in heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures. Sana Obruent from California manages to create a menacing atmosphere that perfectly fits to the mystery. When the crackling noise of the 15-minute opener The Preparation sets in, you can almost smell the snow, while the hint of instrumentation coming from the top of the mountains disturbs from the start. For the unexperienced listener The Departure may be the best track to access the world of Dyatlov, it’s also the one that comes closest to Sana Obruent’s classic Prince Of The Air which seems like bright daylight compared to the heavy darkness of Dyatlov which crawls under your skin. It’s like the moment you recognize that the suppressed thought you fear the most has suddenly found a way to get inside your mind permanently. After the first listen it may be a challenging album for some, but once you let it sink it’s highly addictive and you begin to long for the melodies that you can find underneath the veil of terror. With Dyatlov Sana Obruent is on top of the game. Take The Journey for example which involves arrangements of classical music, but buries it under a haze of drone, nightmare, and interfering sound sources. In the beginning parts of it may even sound peaceful, then again the increasing and decreasing volume with its variety of noises that resemble Geiger counters, the howling of animals and scraping of metal make you realize that at some point you didn’t recognize that the avalanche is not approaching, you are waking up recognizing you have already been buried under it and are now unable to escape. When you find yourself at the bottom of this black hole that is Dyatlov, the closer End is no knockout, moreover it’s the aftermath of a disaster that already happened. The stuck loop feels like brain damage, and the crackling snow noise makes it clear: we’ve come full circle, and you’ve reached the verge of insanity. Dyatlov does harm in the most brilliant way.
Tags: Dark Ambient/Drone/Neoclassical
FFO: William Basinski, The Caretaker, Belong, Daniel Menché
Releases: 14 April 2017 Formats: CD, cassette, download
Personnel: Paul Lopez
Label: Blackjack Illuminist Records Label