Roots of Dungeon Synth, feat. Kadotus 609

Some forlorn relics from the dark past given new light, part 1. 

ASCEND 2LP compilation on NTS Radio, according to Resident Advisor “explores the roots of dungeon synth”. Among other 1990’s underground obscurities, the album features some of my earliest solo recordings from 1992, made under the name Kadotus 609.  

I won’t comment on the deeds of a 17-years-old me, other than that I’d never have expected someone would want to press such a thing on vinyl some day… Life is full surprises! 

ASCEND is out on March 17 on double LP, as well as download via Bandcamp.

Here’s some biographical and archival information on Kadotus 609. It was a short-lived solo project that coincided in time with my proto-funeral doom metal band Thergothon but intended to explore a more synthetic sound.

ASCEND double LP (NTS)

About ASCEND, from the press release:

ASCEND is an NTS compilation that explores dark ambient and atmospheric black metal productions from the 1990s, and the roots of the dungeon synth scene.

In the early 1990s, a handful of black metal artists were enticed by the possibility of conjuring new fantastical worlds from the deep isolation of their home setups. Rather than the dense metal sound of their existing projects, this new direction would be centred around intimate synth soundscapes: forlorn organs and otherworldly MIDI theatrics.

Limited edition transparent vinyl edition. 2LP in gatefold sleeve. 

A1 Evol — The Dark Dreamquest (Intro)
A2 Corvus Neblus — Forever I Shalt Dwell in Ravenloft
A3 Asmorod — Fiat Abyssus (Second Chapter)
A4 Vindalv — Swærþ Stimma (excerpt)
B1 Apeiron — Pan’s Journey To The Cosmic Void
B2 Secret Stairways — Lammas Tide
C1 Dolch — Tumulus
C2 Endoki Forest — II
C3 Lunar Womb — Night Towers
C4 Maelifell — La Dame du Lac
D1 Kadotus 609 — The Summoning Through Crimson
D2 Neptune Towers — To Cold Void Desolation

Mastered by Henri Sorvali. Artwork by Osian Jenaer.

1 thought on “Roots of Dungeon Synth, feat. Kadotus 609”

  1. Boomkat Product Review:

    Manna for BM fiends, D&D players and RPG questers; the next NTS compilation surveys the fetid bedroom-scape of dungeon synth music with a dozen gems plucked from obscure early ‘90s records.

    ‘Ascend’ holds a torch to black metal’s most atmospheric urges with exquisite, cherry-picked cuts compiled by Sam Strang with Bruno Halper (Emotional Rescue, NTS) and Will Dickson. Leading on from their expert surveys of private press folk, amapiano, and singeli, they turn sharply, bitterly inward with an icy grip of hard-to-find aces that can be hailed as the roots of what is now known as dungeon synth music.

    The sound is surely familiar to dimples of black metal’s 2nd wave, and the sort of scene-setting, Midi-eval intros favoured by likes of Mortiis or dodgy cunt Burzum – particularly their inspiration from Tangerine Dream’s Conrad Schnitzler and Klaus Schulze that also leaches into ‘90s RPG computer games such as Diablo or indeed Skyrim in the modern day. Sniff your pits; you’ll know if that’s you: and if so, this set is another good excuse not to leave the house for as long as possible.

    The fantasy begins with a stately invitation to join the kingdom of darkness extended by Evol (the Norwegian one), and proceeds from the enchanted pads of Corvus Neblus to the pulsating form of Asmorod, thru toens evoking flashbacks to kids TV gameshow ‘Nightmare’ in ‘Vindalv’s ’Swærfl Stimma’, taking in immersive durational wonders by Apeiron, Lunar Womb and Neptune Towers, beside the lustrous strings of Secret Stairways, and the wheeze of Kadotus609 primed to soundtrack alchemical experiments with Gatorade and Oreos or turn your next garage raid for rizlas and bacon into a gauntlet of suburban zombie NPCs and local hell-hounds.



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