Jan 2024 01

Album CoverEdley ODowd
Album: F(OUR)-WARD
Category: Noise / Experimental / Ambient
Label: Flesh Prison Records / DeathBed Tapes
Release Date: 2023-02-23
Author: Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)


Given the man’s extensive pedigree, it’s almost strange to think that the 2022 cassette release of F(OUR)-WARD was Edley ODowd’s first solo outing, but with this expanded deluxe edition, he subjects the audience to an aurally immersive experience that is sure to overwhelm the synapses. Through these six tracks, the artist puts all of his creative energies to the fore with perpetually shrill and ominous waves of ambient noise that only occasionally coalesce into something resembling a harmonious atmosphere, as if to grant listeners precious few moments of reprieve from the otherwise unyielding deluge of disharmony. His percussive skills appear amid the coldly analog swells and swirls of “Constance C. Craving,” broken by ritualistic drums and animalistic shrieks reminiscent of the psychedelic noodling of early Pink Floyd, and in the menacingly tribal rhythms of “Damn Baby,” the banal exchanges of the dialogue snippets adding to its already palpable tension. Organs and synths clash at disparate intervals throughout “Galactic Immersion,” while the smoky melodic progression of Armand Egidi’s somber piano contrasts with the atonally spectral resonance of the massive “Morgue Wheel,” the fluidity of its despondent and dissonant drones and guttural oscillations belying its gargantuan runtime of nearly 15 minutes; the same could be said of “Hand-Crafted Cliffs,” with Chris Cruz’s metallic guitar accompaniments hinting at a slightly unhinged melodiousness amid sustained washes of noise and fractured samples. The uninitiated may struggle with the album, while those familiar with Edley ODowd’s work, as well as fans of droning noise and dark ambient will likely be undeterred by and even attracted to the nigh oppressive textures of F(OUR)-WARD. If nothing else, it’s good to see such a prolific artist finally taking the opportunity to indulge himself, giving added weight to the concluding line of “Titmous,” which darkly repeats, “The devil has come home.”
Track list:

  1. Galactic Immersion
  2. Constance C. Craving
  3. Morgue Wheel
  4. Damn Baby
  5. Titmous
  6. Hand-Crafted Cliffs

Edley ODowd
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Flesh Prison Records
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DeathBed Tapes
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