MYSTERY SEA 49 | From
the White Chimneys | [Nautilus with wings]
"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
From the White Chimneys, October
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
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.
WONDERFUL WOODEN REASONS|Ian
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.
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.