"Deep, dank, raw and visceral, it’s a brutal yet elegant soundscape of industrial techno surging with electricity, meaning and force"
Most artists look inward, outward or upward for inspiration but rarely give attention to the inscrutable domain that lies beneath their feet. For Natalia Zamilska it was impossible to be unaware of the ancient and ever-shifting foundations on which we have built civilisation growing up in Silesia, Poland.
In that resource rich region, she witnessed the terrible power of both man and nature first-hand. The collision of those two forces would manifest in the seismic vibrations generated from explosions at local mines and earthquakes that shook her apartment. That volatile and tense geological setting deeply informed her craft over the course of three albums.
The first thing that hits you in Uncovered is the profound respect and fascination Zamilska has with both the power of earth and industry, as well as the friction between their tumultuous relationship. She has translated that terrestrial instability and industrial antagonism into a work of beautiful brutalism, raw and at the same time refined like molten silver halfway set to sterling.
You can feel the rumbles and echoes of bombed out hollows and the drip-drip of ice water from the ancient stalagmites of vast caverns. Certain tracks like ‘Gape’ evoke melancholic images of graffiti covered cold war-era bunkers with impoverished children hiding in them from the polluted rain. There is an organic and primal ferocity to the record that moves in familiar trajectories yet splits off into untraceable patterns at whim. Conventional techno formulas are thrown out the window here, It’s the shuffling, subtle layers of textures and the nuances of its samples that set the mood and capture the imagination.
Zamilska uses her voice for the first time in Uncovered, wrapped in distortion, distance and emotional coldness, it adds to the overall disaffected atmosphere of the record. It was a personal touch to garnish the completion of a trilogy of albums with, and to her, the final missing piece of the puzzle.
The gleaming chimes that open the album on ‘Message’ form a stark contrast to the bursts of white noise, radio static, thumps, clicks and subterranean bass that follows. The record goes from feeling like a stroll through a sterile corridor packed with overworked heart monitors on ‘Hospital’ to a slick trance-like cycle of dancefloor delirium on ‘Hollow’.
‘Back’ sounds like the theme song of a villainous industrial corporation from a dystopian future, with rebels like the Polish partisans of WW2 fighting to stall the sinister machinations of their callous capitalist enterprise. And like those unsung heroes Uncovered is about defiance. The earth defying us. Us defying the earth. Natalia Defying expectations of her music. And perhaps the defiance of our own limitations.
Uncovered is the crystallisation of Zamilska’s sonic identity into a tangible and idiosyncratic presence in electronic music. Deep, dank, raw and visceral, it’s a brutal yet elegant soundscape of industrial techno surging with electricity, meaning and force.
Thematically Uncovered is a veneration of mother nature’s destructive and creative power laced with a sense of trepidation over man’s ever-arrogant encroachment on her sovereignty. The album closes with Natalia reeling from the wounds inflicted on the earth as she regretfully utters “Look what we’ve done”.
Uncovered is out now in vinyl, CD and digital formats, order a copy from Bandcamp.
Discover more about Zamilska on Inverted Audio.