CD: Agnisvet [2004]
Ltd x 277

Edge Of The Sky
Wandering Fires
Thawing In A Fog
Wood Lonely Autumn
Rest And Silence
Spirit Of The Strange
Predawn Twilight
Circle Of A Lonely Tree

The ‘C’ word still holds an abhorrence to many people. No matter how broadminded they may appear if you utter it you will see them visibly shake. I’m not talking about ‘cunt’. Shit…I use that word all the cuntting time in front of everyone and no-one bats an eyelid. Oh no. The word is…whisper it now…‘cult’. Some cults are good. Some are very bad. The cult that makes you drink poisoned ‘kool aid’ in a compound is a bad cult. A cult that makes you believe you’ll follow in the trail of comet up to Heaven if you top yourself is a bad cult. But the ‘cult’ word covers many different bases and associations. There are cult films, books and music to name but a few. These are good cults. The question that needs to be asked is: how exactly do you get elevated to cult status within the music industry?

There are certain criteria that needs to be met before you can safely join this elitist club so let’s see if Staruha Mha ticks all the right boxes to justify their inclusion to cult dom. Firstly no-one should have heard of you. Tick. Nor for that matter should have any of your friends or family. Tick. It helps to have a strange name. Tick. Being foreign also helps. Tick. A search of the internet should preferably reveal nothing about you. Tick. You shouldn’t have had any major exposure to the mass media in any form. Tick. Your releases should be very limited thus improving your anonymous presence. Tick. Most importantly your music should only appeal to the minority and not the majority. Tick. Congratulations Staruha Mha. You are officially inaugurated into cult hood.

"Fires" is 12 tracks of experimental / ambient soundscapes that flits seamlessly between those two genres with some aplomb. The heady mix of atmospheric electronics, coupled with assorted blips and bleeps, and some treated vocals works exceedingly well creating an at times uneasy listening experience without straying into an all out noise assault. There are passages of tranquil beauty spread throughout the recording that are quietly meditative in structure inducing a dreamlike state for the listener to lose themselves in. You could call it blackest ambient withan edge. "Fires" is a thrilling and exhilarating musical journey that twists and turns all over the place but is never boring or stale.

Of course limiting your release to only 277 copies means the music will never receive the accolades it so richly deserves and only the chosen ones who searched it out will be able to fully appreciate and bathe in the glow it produces. That’s what happens when you’re a cult. Loved by the few. Ignored by the rest. So it was meant to be.


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