303 Committee: Conquest

This is a dip into darkness so deep it’s virtually impossible to expel yourself from it.  Inam Records has been encountered several times around here, such as the legendary drone master Sujo, but there’s very little information out there about 303 Committee and that’s about as elite as it could possibly get.  To listen to this kind of thing, you totally have to be in the “know,” because it’s so elite there’s virtually not a single thing about it on the internet for Christ’s sake, and everything’s on there by now.  If you can’t find it today, it means it’s something special, something that doesn’t need “all of that” to consider itself a release.  And that, my friends, is how one is capable of still seeming completely condescending when it comes to music but never really fitting into any rung on the social ladder, and most certainly never hipster, ugh.  303 Committee is largely a mystery, in fact this whole CD package is a frikken mystery.  But that’s what the man behind it is all about.  Apparently, this is another project of genius Ryan Huber, who’s behind Olekranon, Dhow, Sujo, and basically everything Inam Records releases.  It came to us with black ink on a black sleeve depicting a swirling, geometric vortex, and inside was simply a red disc with a red insert depicting a black skull & crossbones (which we chose as the artwork for this review, though we altered it ourselves).  It’s typical Inam fashion; artistic, squalid, dismal, and completely representative of what you’re about to listen to.


Conquest is drone or drone gaze, if you will, at complete perfection.  Drone and gaze can be similar in a number of ways, the latter term tossed and tagged onto nearly every genre you can think of anymore and if it sticks, it sticks well.  If it doesn’t, it slides off like a sheen negligee at a honeymoon.  But, generally, the first musical genre mentioned here is all about drawn-out, massive presence, the latter about delicate atmospheres.  Combining those is a feat that only a musical God could accomplish.  And here it is.  Conquest takes many of the skills Huber has acquired via his various conceptions, though most directly Sujo and Dhow, and it’s fused them into a hybrid being capable of turning the most extroverted of individuals into a sullen, depressed, imploded blob.  This is largely because Huber understands the required quality of both drone and gaze in separation.  Putting them together was practically as easy as breathing to him.


But a description is rather simple.  In order to combine drone with gaze, Conquest simply required a toning down of the often huge wall of sound expected from the former, which sometimes verges on HNW for less-skilled artists, via textures developed through bleak atmosphere.  Conquest is all about textures.  Textures here are like a fine piece of abstract art.  Not the kind that imagines it means more than it does, no, this is the kind of art where the viewer gets a sense of some purpose, not clear at first, but once discovered the entire canvas explodes into the mind with meaning you wish you never discovered.  Conquest is primarily built on soundscapes of an electronic quality combined with natural sounds that have a clear electronic origin but meld into a sense of reality incredibly well.  Imagine a fine fuzz of a mist of distortion funneling around you, the sounds of rumbling movements of air swirling it about, and then add to that the sound of dying sea life somewhere far in the background, and here it is (one of the tracks, anyway).  This is the perfect selection for fans of minimalist noise, drone, and gaze, and the only brief moments of peace you’ll ever feel is the short silence between songs, so be ready.  This is not the kind of thing a casual hipster listens to, or any hipster for that matter.  Once you’ve heard something like this, all that other stuff is pretty minuscule in comparison and you shave off the beard with a straight razor.


303 Committee on Last.FM

Written by Stanley Stepanic

303 Committee: Conquest
Inam Records
5 / 5