Alan Lockett | e/i Magazine | Installment 15 | December 2007
Athens-based experimental music label Triple Bath has had a small release schedule of limited edition CDRs. The label states that it values highly music of ascetic and religious nature regardless of any connection to or detachment from specific traditions, cultural weight or political beliefs. The presence of words of this nature would seem to suggest a kind of mission statement of a quasi-spiritual ambit, and, truth be told, Belgian Miguel Boriau did cause some trepidation here, especially coming on with heavy "nom de disque" Simulacra, backed up with further New Age meets Nihilist Gothic title-atrocities like "Wandering the Spirit World" and "Disintegrate into Nothingness". Nomenclatural qualms negotiated, however, "Eidolon" turns out to be a gratifyingly involving piece of drone-driven Dark Ambient-cum-Space Music, with Boriau adept enough at making his timbres do the talking to drown out the verbals. "Wandering the Spirit World" may well at its outset seem to be dismissible, reductively, as a bleak ballet of lust-y ebb and flow, but once sucked into its ominous upsurge and giddy reverberating fall-aways, the unsuspecting listener will find its engulfing effect slowly surmounts any preconceptions. Similarly, "Disintegrate into Nothingness" may spool out superficially the same deep-breathing turgescent synth sequence with obsessive recursive insistence, but the devil is in the micro-variative detail, transforming a sci-fi dirge into a mesmerizing immersion zone in which to darkly luxuriate. Hanging not far from black stars once charted by Roach (The Magnificent Void) and Rich (Trances/Drones), somewhere down by a more elevated Cyclic Law (Gustaf Hildebrand, Visions), "Eidolon"'s two 20-plus minute pieces of black-edged ooze, dark-hole drift and low-end voidism offer well-sculpted updates on old-school space music for a new cohort of grim-faced aura-nauts.
Bauke van der Wal | Gothtronic | September 2007
For the second time this month Triple Bath caught me by surprise. A completely unknown project gets a chance to reach a larger audience thanks to Themistoklis Pantelopoulos and his activities as label owner. Simulacra has only been around for a year and started out as a little bit of fooling around with ambience by Miguel, who is also active with the projects Weihan, Insomnia, Beyond Infinity, Nihilum and Mannus (at least, that is what I make up from his myspace). The CDR in a limited edition of 96 copies contains two long ambient soundscapes with lots of inspiration from the drone-scene. Which means it's calm and quite graphic, although there can be found just a little variation over a longer period of time. Both tracks last for over 20 minutes each, so it's well worth spending those 5 EUR (sadly for the interested it's already sold out). The first track "Wandering the Spirit World" is a bit slower in its build-up, while "Disintegrate into Nothingness" has the melodic aspects a bit more pushed to the front in the audio spectrum. As a whole it reminds me a bit (just a bit) of the first part of "Burning Water", the masterpiece of The Anti Group Communication. But this would be very appealing to followers of the more darker CMI acts too.
Jaap Kamminga | Ikecht | August 2007
translated from dutch
This review might be too late to use. Reviewing a disc after it has already sold out, hmm... All I can say is, these things tend to happen when you release your music in small print, in this case 96 copies. About the music and the artist: This is Simulacra's debut album, something which is definitely not the case for the artist behind this moniker: Miguel Boriau. He is the founder of NOTHingness Records and released music before as Insomnia, Mannus, Beyond Infinity and Nihilum. Soundscapes is the description that best fits for this music style. Very calm, meandering from chord to chord. And yet tension is created, which inevitably forces the listener to relax and get carried away to - as the press info describes it - "a fairyland of such beauty that feels like the unification of a forest with the starry empyrean that embraces it from above at night". This place that someone descends can definitely be called pretty. Beauty can be found in small things and this disc proves it again. 2 pieces of about 45 minutes together, each developing gradually and showing their true beauty only in small transitions. On this aspect I consider the first piece "Wandering the Spirit World" a little weaker compared to "Disintegrate into Nothingness". Still, both tracks are solid as a rock for those enjoying very calm music. In short, this is a typical release for a very small group of enthusiasts but it will certainly satisfy them.
Tobias Fischer | Tokafi | August 2007
All too often, the term experimental is used in an inflationary fashion and for all art appertaining to sound instead of tonality. Vice versa, many truly daring releases are quickly labeled with seemingly neutral titles such as Dark Ambient, which are really intended to be derogative. There is a certain danger that the latter will happen to "Eidolon". Which would mean that a daring and truly personal work would slip under the medial radar - for these terms encapsulate the exact meaning of what Miguel Boriau has achieved with his debut album under a new project name. Of course, track titles such as "Wandering the Spirit World" and "Disintegrate into Nothingness" are close to the nomenclature of gothic and associated scenes. While most contemporary sound artists are obsessed by the task of capturing life through its audible emissions down to the tiniest of details, Simulacra deals with death by looking at the greater picture. In his vision, the world of the living and the spheres of that which follows are permeable to a certain degree, allowing for the mind to slip through if the body becomes really flexible. Consequently, the music on "Eidolon" can be understood as an exercise in attaining that flexibility. Boriau builds his pieces on a carefully selected array of timbres and musical development. "Wandering the Spirit World" is nothing but a monotonal swelling and ebbing over a continued hum and "Disintegrate into Nothingness" repeats the same chord scheme for its entire 23 minutes. No breath is exactly the same and yet, the sense that things will essentially remain the way they are is pervasive. Like a dental drill, the pieces seek to penetrate the soft outer glaze, caressing the sensitive nerves inside with the hands of lovers. The longer this process, which neither has a chance of succeeding nor of retreating after having come this far, continues, the less one perceives it as terrifying or threatening. The music is both its own premonition and sedative. The will to keep these tracks running on so little thematic material could be a madman's if it weren't so clear: Boriau knows exactly what he wants. This lucidity combined with the principally infinite dimensions of his works emphasizes the proximity to a very different tradition than most Dark Ambient acts, namely to that of the electronic scene of the '70. It also put him in a line of select artists which were able to cover both worlds - tonality and sound - on truly experimental albums.
Aquarius Records | New Arrivals #263 | April 2007
Ultra limited CDR release from Belgian outfit Simulacra, the black ambient project of NOTHingness head honcho Miguel Boriau. NOTHingness is responsible for a handful of Aquarius favourites, including the dark doomy ambience of Tenhornedbeast and the epic doom of the recently released Morkheim. Boriau's Simulacra project falls more in line sonically with the former, although it's less doomy and more glacial and lovely. Imagine a more blissed out Lustmord, or Coleclough and Chalk tackling some sci-fi dark ambience and you'll be getting warm. Two epic tracks, each clocking in at over 20 minutes, each a slow burning, outer space drift, deep resonant swells, sweeping majestic vistas of low end shimmer and fuzzy dreamy drift. Mesmerizing and meditative, but still pretty dark and ominous. It's hard not to picture the vastness of space, or barring that, some endless series of underground caverns, this is the sound of black holes drifting through a starry sky, of our bodies hurtling through space in slow motion, gorgeously bleak and barren, warm and immersive, a dreamily dense slab of sonic swoon, the perfect soundtrack for your own late night interplanetary drift. Limited to 96 copies! Each disc individually numbered, we got a handful and will probably be unable to get more.