"When you are listening to the sound of pulsars, you are listening to actual star-size oscillators with the most minimal and longest lasting drones in the whole universe."
ZeroK is a label within the Unexplained Sounds Group network of aural disorientation. It's focused on deep and cinematic experimental ambient, along with a nod to scientific exploration and experimentation, as well as moods and feelings evoked by sci-fi imagery.
Music by HLER
Artwork: Black Space Industry
Cover image: Edward Air Force
Rockets Launch Base
©2020. All rights reserved
HLER: LGM-1: This Is Darkness Review
Created from the bursts of radio waves originating from space, this stunning album of dark ambient / drone / post-industrial is one of those which rewards the listener with something new to experience each time it’s played. The music here is mysterious, hypnotic and alien… and yet the audio journey we are taken on has a comforting aspect underlying it all. With LGM-1, Finnish duo Heikki Lindgren & Esa Ruoho have created something truly unique, and this is very much worth checking out.
HLER: LGM-1: Igloomag Review
Constantly threatening and burgeoning, there are hints of extra-sensory projections. Nothing mellow here. It gives a large space to tiny incremental directions and micro-tonal gestures.
Experimentations sustained by dense layers of drones and flexible sound textures
Coming from the DIY musical community HLER (aka Heikki Lindgren and Esa Ruoho) are a Finnish experimental / drone infused duo with materials published as ultra-limited hand crafted editions assorted with digitals.
HLER’s musical and creative signature is said to be largely improvised, turned to aleatoric experimentations sustained by dense layers of drones and flexible sound textures, occasionally admitting conceptual ideas that fall in the electroacoustic field of researches.
From a first listen to LGM-1, it delivers vertical droning chimes, crackling sounds, and chilling soundscapes. Playing with feedback, resonance, feelings of dislocation, motion, and buzzed out frequencies floating in the air—the whole soundscaping tapestry is well balanced. Constantly threatening and burgeoning, there are hints of extra-sensory projections. Nothing mellow here. It gives a large space to tiny incremental directions and micro-tonal gestures.
These electronic drone-soaked aspects of minimalist music can easily admit comparisons with the brooding shifted moods designed by artists such as Justin Wright (Expo 70), Phil Niblock (among other names), toxified post-industrial artefacts of Zoviet France, Nocturnal Emissions, Galerie Schallschutz, and free form electroacoustic researches, sound morphologies of Bernard Parmegiani (ref. De Natura Sonorum).
HLER: LGM-1: Side-Line Reviews
Genre/Influences: Experimental, dark-ambient, cinematographic, abstract.
Format: Digital, CDR, Cassette.
Background/Info: HLER is the meeting between Finnish artists Heikki Lindgren and Esa Ruoho. The initials of their respective names inspired the name of the project. Notice by the way the album has been released on ZeroK, which is a new subdivision of the Italian label Unexplained Sounds Group. The label is ‘focused on deep and cinematic experimental ambient, along with a nod to scientific exploration and experimentation, as well as moods and feelings evoked by sci-fi imagery’.
Content: The album takes off with a real overwhelming noisy dark sound wave. There’s a strong and anguished dark mood hanging over the work, which remains constant. You can also recognize field recordings and different kinds of manipulated noises and effects injecting some little sonic details reinforcing the mysterious mood of the work. It sometimes feels like a sonic corridor without real exit. You can hear space signals, which are mainly accentuated in the last part of the work. The tracks are pretty long, revealing a slow progression.
+ + + : You rapidly get the impression of diving into an abyssal sphere leading to explore hidden secrets and lost mysteries. HLER has this power to tickle your imagination leading you into a dark and hostile inner world. It’s a dark trip throughout a fiction world featuring multiple little crispy noises and astral sound treatments. But this universe also reflects a sensation of loneliness, which is masterly accomplished at “PSR J1023+0038”.
- - - : Different passages reflect some monotony, being a bit too linear. I’m afraid that’s often what you might experience listening to this kind of music, but I think some of these passages could be a little bit more diversified.
Conclusion: HLER brings us an interesting sonic experience mixing darkness and fiction.
Best songs: “PSR J1023+0038”, “PSR J1836+5925”.
HLER: LGM-1: AmbientBlog Review
HLER combines the initials of this duo: Heikki Lindgren and Esa Ruoho. They file their music under ‘improvised noise, clicks, hums, drone, a captured submarine humming in the hangar of a space station, “Are you sure you guys are alright and that the cables work?”‘ (that last quote is theirs, not mine).
It’s not mentioned what instruments were used for LGM-1, but according to their own bio most of the sounds originate from a second-hand Peruvian Mochika XL synthesizer which proved to be a unique source for live performances, because “it was almost impossible to recreate the exact same sound twice.”
But perhaps for this album, another kind of basic material was used…we can’t be sure since details about this are not given…
LGM-1 is inspired by a strange phenomenon coming from outer space: so-called fast radio bursts, bursts of energy that shine for only a few milliseconds but release about a million times more energy than the sun. They were discovered in 2007, but until now no-one knows what they are.
“(They do not come from just anywhere in space. They are from outside our galaxy, maybe as far as billions of light years away, according to initial measurements of a phenomenon called the “dispersion effect”. Radio bursts could be a sign of strange and new physics.”
From the beginning of the album, the outer-space-drones are quite overwhelming, conveying the pure energy of the PSR’s (Pulse Sound Recordings, I guess). The massive sounds works best if played loud! It’s a sound to indulge in, since it seems to contain fragment of hidden secrets from outer space. Secrets that are impossible to grasp. Yet.
LGM-1 is released on ZeroK: a sublabel of the Unexplained Sounds Group, “focused on deep and cinematic experimental ambient, along with a nod to scientific exploration and experimentation, as well as moods and feelings evoked by sci-fi imagery.”
The physical editions (cassette or CDr) are now sold out. But the good news is that with the digital downloads you get no less than 110 minutes of stunning space drones, more than could be fitted on CDr or cassette.
HLER: LGM-1: Streetclip Review
MICHAEL HAIFLFEB 21, 20201
~ 2020 (ZeroK) – Stil: Ambient / Drone / Soundscapes ~
Außerirdisches Leben oder nur Geräusche aus einem anderen Sternsystem? Vor fast 20 Jahren entdeckten Forscher hörbare, immer wiederkehrende Radiowellen aus dem All. Diese schnellen Funkstöße (Fast Radio Bursts) sind Millisekunden lange Funkwellenstöße. Zumeist handelt es sich um rasch wiederholende Stöße aus einer bestehenden Zwerggalaxie oder einem frühen Sternsystem. In diesen Millisekunden setzen sie mehr Energie frei als die Sonne. Die Ursache dieser extragalaktischen Phänomene ist dennoch nicht geklärt.
Das von „UnexplainedSoundsGroup“ gegründete Unterlabel „ZeroK“ widmet sich fortan ganz dem experimentellen und cineastischen Ambient. Insbesondere Stimmungen aus Sci-Fiction-Stories werden zu Gehör kommen. Das erste Projekt ist HLER, ein finnisches Elekronik Duo, Heikki Lindgren und Esa Juhani Ruoho.
Da die Musik neben dem auf Bandcamp üblichen Download allein als CDr und Kassette erschienen ist, bleibt dem Nerd selbstredend nur das Tape zur Wahl.
HLER nehmen uns mit ins All, lassen uns die Funkstöße hören und spüren. Sie lassen sie uns gewahr werden. Hypnotisch und transzendent. Wie weit sie uns tragen, liegt im Auge des Betrachters bzw. am Ohr des Hörers, der sich bis in die entlegendsten Galaxien mitnehmen lassen kann. Mit geschlossenen Augen und einem Kopfhörer auf den Ohrmuscheln werden Raum und Zeit eins, verschmelzen Vergangenheit, Gegenwart und Zukunft.
„Man hat den Eindruck, dass die moderne Physik auf Annahmen beruht,
die irgendwie dem Lächeln einer Katze gleichen, die gar nicht da ist.“ (Albert Einstein)
Wessen Entspannung oder Vorstellungskraft nicht ausreicht, bleibt in Gedanken auf dieser Erde hocken. Nichtsdestotrotz tragen die Drones des Ambient-Sounds auch diese Zuhörer an einen anderen Ort.
Sie wähnen sich am Flughafen, direkt unter den nicht stoppenden Motorengeräuschen der Flugzeuge. Sie wähnen sich am Bahnhof, direkt das Ohr an den Schienen klebend, derweil der Bremsvorgang des einrollenden Zuges nie enden müsste. Sie wähnen sich in einem nächtlichen Schloss, in dem der Luftzug des Windes durch die Mauernritzen pfeift oder der Geist der vor vielen Dekaden verstorbenen Ahnen durch die Gänge huscht.
Die CDr enthält sechs Lieder, denn mehr kann kein Silberling fassen. Das Tape muss sich mit fünf Liedern begnügen. Der Download enthält in seiner Gänze neun Lieder, die eine musikalische Zeitreise über die Distanz von über 110 Minuten versprechen.
Lasst Euch treiben, empfangt die Stöße in Wellen …
HLER: LGM-1: Head-Banger Review
It was ever since I was a kid when I was first terrified by Alien and became absolutely enamored by Jeffrey Thomas’s sci-fi masterpiece “Blue War” that I have been a big fan of that highly detailed science fiction that’s only done true justice on occasion. Even less often is when an act of any style can put together a listening experience the likes of which gives nothing but true glory to the entire genre of science fiction. It’s really only been Progenie Terrestre Pura and Mesarthim that have been able to do it justice, but even then there’s so much more to tap into. As if to answer my very desires, with this brand new work of some of the deepest ambient I’ve ever heard that HLER brings forth an experience I won’t soon forget.
Ambient has long been a thing that I only dip my toe into simply because of how immense the style is that I don’t want to get too lost in it and maybe lose my taste for it as well. But, when I had first heard of deep ambient, or “glacial ambient” as it was first described to me, I’d be lying if I said that my interest was not peaked. I was just confounding but simultaneously mesmerized at the sheer possibilities as to just what in the hell that would sound like. More than likely, something slow and grinding much like a glacier moving maybe inches a year. As their first release, Zero K with that new label smell immediately threw down “LGM-1” from HLER, and it really does feel as though this is a work meant to show newcomers to the substyle, like myself, the exact potential that deep ambient has without being too mind-numbing or even boring, and to say that I was greatly impressed with what was brought to the table here would be a grand understatement.
Just looking at the runtimes of each track from “LGM-1” made me wonder out loud what exactly there is that HLER could’ve busted out of the ether for songs that were fourteen minutes in length, much less even the 23-minute finale! And yet, looking back into the cosmic depths that HLER explores all throughout this wondrous piece of colorless splendor, there isn’t a single grain of what’s brought forth here that isn’t simply enamoring to say the least. The very idea of exploration and reverence of the unknown is spread into every part of “LGM-1” in such a way that it’s nigh on hypnotic with a dream-like substance constantly covering its surface. And the whole of this work is surprisingly diverse across all of its atmospheres which still leaves me confounded as to just how exactly HLER brought them to life so magnificently with one track not repeating the previous nor over-shadowing its predecessor. Whether it sounds like the soundtrack to moon dust shifting ever so slowly on some planetoid on the other side of the galaxy, more earthly drones that wonder what’s in the void, or suspenseful works like that of the stunning finale, there is virtually nothing about “LGM-1” that isn’t beautiful in just about every imaginable way. HLER should be extremely proud of what’s been pulled off here with this work for it is quite possibly the best ambient album of any kind that I’ve had the fortune of diving into, and I can still not even pull myself out of listening to it while typing this even after soaking my soul into its starlight for hours at this point.
In so many ways, this is the kind of experience I want more of whenever I think of a science fiction-influenced ambient work that just takes everything and puts it on another level entirely, and HLER has truly set a high bar with this album that I’d be more than keen to see topped for that would be something to behold all on its own. There isn’t a single speck of what’s done here with “LGM-1” that I wouldn’t whole-heartedly recommend to any person wanting to find themselves in a deep state of hibernation or even meditation for a while, and it’s by the end of this work that I can almost guarantee that your soul will feel both cleansed and as though it has gone on a journey of galactic proportions.
LISTEN to “LGM-1” on Bandcamp here.