'Tactio' was recorded live in St Petri Dom (tr. St. Peter's Cathedral) in Bremen on November 24 2005, by renowned Russian ambient artist Evgeny Voronovsky under the guise of Cisfinitum (which I suppose is a little easier to say - well, sort of). This performance was part of the Reiche Elektronische festival that was held in this north-western German city by Drone Records.
As Cisfinitum, Voronovsky is able to touch on the more shadowy aspects of his work and expand them into thickly textured drones and soundscapes that fall very nicely into the dark ambient genre. Utilising the acoustics of the cathedral, Cisfinitum produces an array of compositions which are brilliantly constructed and presented. They flow into one another to create a constantly evolving singular entity, whilst managing to keep the listener's interest with their captivating ambience and a dark, concrete presence which on occasion seems to take on an almost organic feel. Yet the structures of sounds are firmly rooted within the bricks, wood and glass of the cathedral and the breathtaking splendour it houses.
As you may expect from the venue, 'Tactio' does have a very spiritual/religious feel to it, without being too overbearing or in your face. Its subtleties are its strength in this respect, as the compositions pay an understated respect to their surroundings. Consisting of thick structured drones, solid dark ambient soundscapes, manipulated bell tolls and occasional bursts of noise, the set of six compositions that make up this album are somewhat simplistic in their structure. However, they deliver exactly what they need to without losing the listener's attention or becoming overly repetitive. It's the kind of recording where you need to sit back, dim the lights and just absorb its ambience, structures and presence, which although dark, occasionally noisy and cold is still immensely accessible and very inviting.
The majority of the album takes a similar form, with waves of sounds being layered onto one another to build compellingly dark sound structures. However, on the final track (if you ignore the audience applause which fills the CD's actual last track) things are kicked up a notch, with the inclusion of rhythmic beats which add a more power noise a la Ant-Zen feel to the proceedings. The sounds crescendo towards echoes of noise, as the distorted beats and layered soundscapes produce an infectious cacophony that thunders around their surroundings. Then as quickly as it appeared, the beat moves back into the shadows before the album draws to a close.
Aside from this final track, the album shares similarities to the more dark ambient structures that Current 93 produced on the likes of 'Dawn' in terms of its layered, darkened soundscapes and religious touches. 'Tactio' was a surprisingly enjoyable listen which has enough presence and quality to keep any fan of dark ambient easily engrossed throughout, and as such is definitely worthy of your time and investigations. Housed in a beautifully designed digipack, 'Tactio' is a dark ambient joy from start to finish and one most deserving of a space in that collection of yours.