Mlada Fronta

Fe2 03

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With Fe2 O3, Mlada Fronta has provided nothing short of an extended immersive experience. Forming over two hours of varied listening, Fe2 O3 is a novel in musical terms. Like a novel, this release takes on the role of describing multiple currents and themes and binds them into a whole. The first disc of Fe2 O3 is a fused collection of dark ambient slices, each a fragment of a soundtrack that gives a brief insight into an uncomfortable place. Crafted synths and samples combine to form elements in delicate balance, painting pictures of moments that are often both moving and disturbed. Noise laces the edges of some tracks enough to give hard edges without stealing attention from the soundscape (such as "CL"). In other moments, tracks provide softer and thinner atmospheres ("OB") or are downright lo-fi ("OS" uses raw analog synth voices to deliver an emotional texture reminiscent of Beefcake). Where the first disc is a soft threat, the second is more forward. Mlada Fronta are also accomplished noise artists who are of a different breed than heavy dance-beat noise acts such as Converter. Mlada Fronta uses the same simple style of arrangement used on the dark ambient side to model these noisier experiences, informed perhaps more by acts such as Monolith or Morgenstern. Noise elements are driven forward with their own impetus rather than being pushed with heavy drum samples, and the range of sounds and samples is again in a complementary and simple balance as voices are added (or subtracted) from the mix. The two discs serve as a spectrum between smooth atmospheres and harsher textures, and while each disc has its own style grounded at each pole, there are occasions where Mlada Fronta slides between them on each disc. For listeners interested in dark ambient or noise material alike, there is no question as to whether to hear Fe2 O3. Some artists stretch their talents to achieve multiple outcomes at once, but Mlada Fronta's offering is concise in its design and expansive in its range -- and works the whole time. The only question to ask is which disc is the more frequently played.