Fescal’s signature sound is a marvellous and seducing combination of hiss and low frequency drones with some sort of ‘lowercase’ dark ambient cleverly stitched to the mix with much subtlety, and then he uses those ingredients to build massive walls of sound that leave the listener simultaneously numb and amazed, and even euphoric sometimes, just like a good psychdrug should.
This little gem of an EP will easily be featured in my top 2011 releases – Pedro Leitao, 2011
What distinguishes the drone is what distinguishes the drone. In the broader sense, what distinguishes the drone is its still generally unfamiliar approach, its lack of interest in dispensing immediate satisfaction or in lingering in a mind courtesy of a shard that gets planted and becomes difficult to excise. Though of course it does both those things, in that the drone can effect a peaceful room tone almost instantly, if the room and the drone and the moment are right for each other, and it can linger in the mind even if those shards are of resiliently ambiguous shape and size.
In the narrower sense, what distinguishes the drone is just that: all drones are not created equal, and the subtle shadings are part of their compositional nature. What makes drones especially rich, and extends their generally non-confrontational affect, is that new drones illuminate old ones. Drones don’t participate in a war of attrition. New drones don’t update and outdo old drones. New drones shed light on the workings of earlier drones. Drones may all sound vaguely the same when heard separately, but close proximity makes it clear just how distinct they all are from each other.
What distinguishes the drones of South Korea–based musician Fescal, at least as heard on Into the Atmosphere, the recent release on the Portugal-based netlabel test tube, is an emphasis on texture, an active engagement with texture. There’s nothing here that hints back at the MIDI and synth era of rhapsodic ambient lounge music. Feedback breaks in on “Yesterday’s News” the way a light glints on a camera lens, and that’s after an extended passage that is downright gritty – not film-noir stage-set gritty, but urban wasteland gritty, live-field-recording gritty. On “The Way the Cookie Crumbles,” a haunting, sublimated vocal chorus – haunting not just because of how buried it is in the mix, but also because of its static, inhuman quality — provides the sort of complex overtones that perhaps only vocals can bring. These are trenchant drones. On “Lucky Man,” the texture goes meta, as if we’re not so much listening to the drone, but to some recording of the drone that has then, wholly, been put through a post-production ringer – Marc Weidenbaum, Disquiet, May 5, 2011
Volvió mi artista favorito Fescal, ahora para una importante netlabel como Test Tube nos presenta su último trabajo “Into the atmosphere”, cinco piezas de ambientes experimentales con ruidos saturados. Fescal crea y recrea sonidos atmosféricos penetrantes de gran calidad que entran de una manera directa al oído generando un estado armónico en la persona que se cruce con este álbum. Exquisito – Triangular, Música Seleccion, April 27, 2011.
Fescal’s Into the Atmosphere is quite the exploration into ambient music, and I find the title to be quite apt as often I feel like im ascending into something that is out of this world. The textures are so peaceful, the light shimmers through the glowing haze of ambient sounds so effortlessly that it is easy to lose oneself half way through the release. That is exactly what I did and this helped to release a little tension from my day. A welcomed release from the Test Tube Netlabel, it is encouraged that you download and share this work under a creative commons license – Alex, Whatever Takes Your Fancy, May 10, 2011.
Release number 232 for the Portuguese Test Tube netlabel is quite the stunner, and after so many releases the quality never seems to dissipate into rehashed territories but rather glimmers in a new kind of light. Fescal presents his glimmering light on “Into the atmosphere”, an expansive and deep listen for the ears. Fescal is somewhat of a mysterious character, but I do know he is from South Korea and releases creative commons music under an alternative monika “Guanxi” (which can also be found on the wonderful Camomille Music).
But this is Fescal we are talking about, and ‘Into the atmosphere’ presents the sort of ambient that forms walls around you and traps you in. A delicate balance between static hiss and enveloping drones ebb and flow and collide into one another. On opener “Miss You” it sounds as if Fescal has recorded a million tiny metal balls dropping from a height onto a metal ground, a seemingly chaotic scenario translates into a calming and delicate tune. This is not the kind of ambient you put on in the background as it vies for your attention, and by the swirling, fractured drones of the ten minute epic “Lucky Man” you are convinced that you’ve made the right choice in stopping what you are doing for the day and devoting yourself to Fescal’s imaginative world – Alexander, Netlabelism Magazine, 16th May, 2011.
Fescal, a UK-born but now in the South Korea residing musician provides an astonishing set of 5 tracks relied on the profound explorations of droning soundscapes. Indeed, it is quite hard to realize out where reality could be distinguished from possible fictive vistas. As Fescal`s brand used to be to date, all is enveloped with a tight mass of tape hisses, making all the content ring out really subtle and organic. If to try to convert the recent impression into rock music and to find out the equivalent for it, however, it might be considered dream pop, for instance. In any cases, such kind of dreamscapes cannot be transcended upon the frames of time and space. It is rather a kind of mental level, though – Recent Music Heroes, 28th May, 2011.