ICE YACHT “pole of cold” C40 (Snatch Tapes / Fragment Factory)

It’s time we spent the Summer with the Snow Bees don’t you think?

Sir Philip Sanderson, one half of Storm Bugs, and formerly known as Claire Thomas & Susan Vezey, also the proprietor of London’s Snatch Tapes guides us to the Great White North in sonic luxury. This is no exploitative faux documentary/docudrama Nanook of the North although it is based on actual events. The pseudonymous Sanderson offers finery, and expedition in luxurious boatery, albeit in the sub-freezing climes of where most dare not travel.

There are riveting scenes, particularly on Vostock Station Hallucinations, floating on a Steinway, joining in a drum circle to prevent frostbite. A seamless combination of edgy synths and haunting daunting rhythms invoke the terror of polar isolation not unlike John Carpenter’s The Thing --film and OST. Sometimes the keyboard settings mimic an ultra light nylon string guitar fed through a ring modulator.

Although Philip Sanderson is known to sing or vocalize on other outings, Ice Yacht sticks to the instruments here, letting the sounds do the talking. Most of Pole of Cold exhibits proficiency in sequential layered loops, and sometimes it goes full ambient improvisation. Lots of gear, lots of rope, and a cinematic vocabulary combine for a chilling dive into the ice water.

Cool Runnings.

Ice Yhot!

--Adam Padavano