V/A: Drone Islands - Land Raising: Merchants of Air Review


Here at Merchants Of Air, we have been using the term "drone" for quite a long time. Oddly, this got us plenty of attention from drone hobbyists. You know, people who use those little aircrafts to invade other people's privacy. Here in our little corner of the internet, "drone" means something completely different.

As Wikipedia describes: "Drone-music is a subgenre of minimal music that emphasizes the use of sustained sounds, notes, or tone clusters – called drones. It is typically characterized by lengthy audio programs with relatively slight harmonic variations throughout each piece."

Who else than Raffaele Pezzella to curate an outstanding drone compilation like this one. For this album, he successfully attempted to showcase an overview of today's drone music scene. All twelve tracks here roam into these gloomy underground areas, some heavy and intense, others brooding and immersive. Yes, a drone album, but one that showcases the immense variation within this scene. Belgian long running act Ah Cama-Sotz has gotten the opportunity to open the compilation and he does so with an excellent dark ambient track. Satori's contribution is harsh, noisy and rough while Kammarheit does something gloomy with minimalism.

The vocal drones of Ashtoreth immediately pull you into his sonic habitat. This must be one of his eeriest tracks. But if you want eerie, you'll also adore 'Awash' by Daimon, another piece that excels in minimalism. That's five tracks into this compilation and already a wide variety of drone music, probably more varied than you would expect. Stefan Klaverda's 'Ambient Earthquakes' leaves the darkness and walks into brighter territories whole Sonologyst worships the odd and mysterious. I'll leave the other ones up to you to discover. All I will say is that none of them will disappoint the avid drone fan.

So, drones, minimalism and ambient, that's pretty much what you'll get when you get your hands on a copy of this outstanding compilation. I guess that's the most minimalistic thing I could write about it. Recommended? Obviously.