IOK-1 is a Swedish ambient-project, and to my knowledge this one EP is its sole physical release to date (03/2011). The one-man project seems to have released a good amount of single tracks as freely downloadable files, though, so I wouldn't be particularly amazed if he had put out a few more physical releases as well.

Rost, which stands for rust, is a lenghty and slowly progressing tune of somewhat dark and spacey ambient. It's built of quite an array of softly droning sounds, some of which sound watery whereas some are just a bit harsher and analogue-sounding, and some more rhythmically pulsating field recording-like dronings and other brief samples tread onwards in the background. The tune opens up with some soft and low drone with some more distinctive bassy pulse and higher analogue notes creating the movement to surround it. Some more rhythmic and louder, almost industrial sounds overthrow the ambience around the song's halfway to take the its sound to a sharper and noisier direction, and this effect is deepened by some small, spacey effects and samples, such as some sci-fi-bleeps and white noise. One could say that some of these industrial effects and sounds are even too harsh, but bold choices such as those are needed if one wants to make a song this lenghty a functional one. They do their job well, although they could've replaced some of their sharpest edge with more depth.

After its halfway, "Rost" returns to the calm minimalism through combining low ambient droning with some more peaceful and soothing, but also a bit noisier high-pitch soundwaves - it's a rather classical combination within this genre, but it works decently despite its safeness, and creates a calm atmosphere to surround the listener's deep space journey. The song ends to a pleasingly stylish fade-out, which gives the listener some time to safely descend back to the Earth. The song explores many more or less different atmospheres during its lenght, so it might take a while for the listener to really go through it all; this fact makes the "outro" all the more fitting, even necessary.

Unlike I had thought based on the EP's utterly dull and disappointing visual side, the song is a really versatile, capable and atmospheric piece which paints many soothing as well as interesting images to the listener's mind throughout its lenght. It's well composed and unpredictable in a good way as well, although the most stand-out and distinctive moments could've been imbued to the soundscape more softly instead of the now partly rather crude style. The minor noisiness is the clearest pointer towards the mastering problems; the artist seems to have finished the soundscape himself, and although he's done a fairly good job and the different elements are in balance, it seems that he wasn't able to bring out the depth and definitive traits and details in the different sounds, and the noisiest as well as the bassiest sounds are accompanied by some dull lo-fi flutter. These sound-issues are not major ones in the end nor will they stop one from enjoying the song, but with a properly finished production "Rost" would take the listener considerably further in space.

Aside of the somewhat DIY-soundscape, dull visual side and a couple of too usual and unimaginative picks in the sound department, the song is very recommendable to those who enjoy space travel.

8+ / 10