MYSTERY SEA 49 | From the White Chimneys | [Nautilus with wings]


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- "This work emerges from a fascination with the little known world of a remarkable creature called the nautilus. Its image has become an icon for innovation and, most importantly, change. As one of the earlier admirer's of the nautilus, Aristotle, wrote to some length of the creature's remarkable ability to adapt to its often harsh oceanic surroundings; adapation and constant change provides deep inspiration for these sound explorations. Moreover, it goes hand-in-hand with our curiosity in the broader world of deep sea geologic phenomena that most exude the ocean's awesome rejuvenation powers and literally explosive tendencies to shed its skin and constantly rebuild; a process of chemical rebirth we embellish in our project's moniker.
The white chimneys or "smokers" in the chasm of the western pacific are more than a spectacle of awesome beauty: they represent a new life source and place of unstable tectonic activity and a strange chemically produced deep sea ecosystem.

We hope these sounds help the listener to imagine this world of uncertainty, birth, and rebirth. We hope the listener will let go of any preconceptions and simply be sucked ino the maelstrom that is "nautilus without wings"."

- From the White Chimneys, October 2008


Behind From the White Chimneys' curtains, we have a duet of inventive, vibrant experimental-ambient shapers, as it's actually an original collab of Ben Fleury-Steiner & Danny Kreutzfeldt... Wimington, Delaware based Ben Fleury-Steiner is the instigator of the fertile Gears Of Sand label, but also a craftsmusician & meddlesome passionate sound artist... present on many fronts, he has already a solid bunch of works to his credit, and that under versatile aliases (Eneg, Light Of Shipwreck, Paradin...) on GOS, Dissonance, Mystery Sea, Umbra, Taâlem, just to name but a few...
Danny Kreutzfeldt is Danish and equally productive, both in terms of creations (for Databloem, Tibprod, Practising Nature, etc...) and aliases...with early influences coming from a certain electronic scene (Basic Channel, Biosphere...), he quickly veered off to nurture his very own brand of detailed engrossing ambient...
Here on "Nautilus with wings", they join forces, and undertake a journey of discovery mainly stemming from a recent fascination with the hydrothermal vents of the Mariana Trench...
The resulting work is highly evocative... a compelling, almost physical dive with all senses wide awake...

Above, a ceiling of heavy waters
as only witness to a rusted sinking shell,
a compressed hull in streams of scoria...
Preliminary to an irrepressible descent, further below
an osmotic slow drowning in primeval liquid
till the hazy bottom...

There, bowels spit long columns of dust,
floating straps pointing to something else,
& silent yearnings...

"Nautilus with wings" is our inner ship,
and its elemental drift a cleansing gate
where our passing makes us feel in peace with the world...






VITAL WEEKLY 651|Frans De Waard 
The name From The White Chimneys appears to be a new one, but the names behind are well-known, as it's the collaboration between Danny Kreutzfeldt and Ben Fleury-Steiner, both of whom are active as hell, releasing lots and lots of material on CDRs around the world. I believe this is their first work together and the three pieces are all what they are about in their (recent) solo work, as well as what the label stands for. The mighty deeper and darker atmospherics in life. I have no idea what they use here (field recordings? electronics? software synthesizers? pure effects? or perhaps a combination of all of this?), but the three heavy weight pieces are quite nice. Trademark stuff of this kind of music. Nothing new or spectacular, but executed with great care and style. Shimmering melodies, the sinking of a ship, the sea waves rolling. Great late night music. Unnerving and relaxing at the same time.
vital weekly

The gentle opening to this new release from the Mystery Sea label belies the dark heart which subsequently reveals itself.  One of the noisier releases I've heard from the label and the one with the most obvious and direct reference to the watery theme of the label, From The White Chimneys (Ben Fleury-Steiner & Danny Kreutzfeldt)  have created a nicely sub-aquatic set of powerful and dark drones.  Isolationist to the point that it leaves you with a sense of being cast adrift in a Victorian diving bell, the sounds you are hearing emanating from the oceanic press that surrounds you and cuts you off from all external stimulation.  Every wash, hiss, creak, rumble and rasp takes on an ominous undertone that add to the overall sense of trepidation that simultaneously feels both meticulously planned and utterly natural. 
wonderful wooden reasons

Nautilus With Wings, a collaboration between Ben Fleury-Steiner and Danny Kreutzfeldt, finds a fascinating point of origin in the nautilus. A creature renowned for its ability to not only survive but remain vibrant in even the harshest of oceanic climates, Steiner and Kreutzfeldt similarly demonstrate an ability and enthusiasm for not only adapting but expending energy. The duo swoon, but also recoil, quick to renew rather than simply ravish their situation. With a series of fresh judgments, the surging power of these pieces, though dark and unstable, remains vibrant within these rich atmospheres and manages to open up engaging re-articulations with surprising consistency. Its heavy, smoldering essence may give rise to a wetland of spooked sounds, but this is an oddly intimate and inviting cavern to explore.
cyclic defrost

Well designed yet less surprising, Nautilus With Wings is an effort by From The White Chimneys, namely Ben Fleury-Steiner and Danny Kreutzfeldt. The foremost origin of this record is “a fascination with the hydrothermal vents of the Mariana Trench” and, sure enough, the impression is one of submarine environments spiced with lavishly reverberating drones, upsetting hisses and whispers and various kinds of ominous clattering. Here lies the main problem: those remote thuds and (possibly) intimidating undercurrents, while finely displayed and reproduced, have been heard too many times by now (and in this particular case it looks as the compositional impetus wasn’t actually pushed to the limit) therefore the cognisant can’t really differentiate this from hundreds of similar records utilizing analogous ingredients. The sources are deployed rather linearly and we’re left to contemplate – if so desired – their acoustic gloominess throughout the progression. That’s all. On the other hand, at least two segments exist (for example, the bulk of the second movement) in which the harmonic permutations of the droning resonances result as delightfully complementary to certain transitory mental dispositions of the reviewer; I’d be willing to bet that processed guitars were carefully used in those ear-rewarding passages (this could be just an inkling of mine, though). In essence, what we got is an adequately good-sounding outing that, however, stands a notch below the previously analyzed two thirds of this triptych.
temporary fault