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XELA - The Illuminated

Format: LP
Label & Cat.Number: Dekorder 031
Release Year: 2009
Note: re-issue of MC; project of TYPE RECORDS-runner JOHN TWELLS
Price (incl. 19% VAT): €12.50

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"... Die Klangbilder sind dafür dann erstaunlich subtil, mit buddhistischem Glöckchengeklingel und ganz inoffensivem Gedröhn, dessen ominöse Unbestimmtheit gut als Projektionsfläche taugt. Schon die ‚schwarze‘ Seite, von einer gurgelnden Stimme kurz dämonisiert, betet letztlich mit einer frommen Celloelegie das Gebet derer, die im Zeichen des Saturn das Haupt senken. Die ‚Rosen‘-Seite dröhnt und schimmert in den Farben eines Regenbogens im Reich der Schatten, in dem unsichtbare Gestalten mit ihren Ketten scharren, huldigt aber dann wiederum mit aufgetürmtem Feedback und verzerrtem Schreigesang den Gitarrengöttern, deren gemurmelte Resonanz aber dunkel bleibt." [Bad Alchemy]

"The music of Xela is not easily described. The alias of Type Records main-man John Twells, he has over the last decade moved through a dense fog of musical styles from abstract electronics to rusty soundscapes. In recent years his output has allied itself with darker realms, taking a liberal dose of influence from Norway's darker exponents, but retaining a deep and measured experimental focus. 'The Illuminated' was originally released on cassette, a format very fitting to the gloomy, waterlogged sounds; but having sold out in a matter of days it now recieves the much needed deluxe re-issue treatment. Taking cues from the cracked black metal of Burzum and Striborg and fusing this with heavy, synthesized noise 'The Illuminated' is possibly Xela's darkest, most spine-chilling work to date. We are taken through chiming Nurse With Wound-inspired soundscapes into Middle Eastern marketplaces and through caverns of thick, buzzing synthesized noise on the album's first piece. Entitled 'Black Scripture' this takes the dank religious themes of 'In Bocca Al Lupo' and goes even deeper into the Church dungeons, digging up lost artifacts and the angry spirits that accompany them. The flipside extends this heresy with a throaty vocal and distorted electric guitar, leaving blackened corpses and the traces of a sleepy village in its wake. Devastating and dark material, listen if you dare..." [label info]

"... Many layers of guitar sounds, bells tinkling and slightly distorted sound that 'Gilted Rose' is the standout track of the two. Dark and mysterious. A very fine and delicate piece." [FdW / Vital Weekly]