Maynard and Trent.
In 2010, along with Demdike Stare and Ajilvsga, Theologian (formerly Navicon Torture Technologies) tapped into a mysticism that wasn’t as coy as witch house, creating a truly dark, engrossing record that lived up to the cover art. Ajilvsga provides a great reference point, in fact, because, while not true drone but rather power electronics, Further is a truly massive record while being equally bleak. As time has gone by I’ve paid less attention to noise and power electronics. I assumed I had heard everything under the sun. Thankfully PZ found this, and coupled with the stunning cover art, I gave it a listen to prove myself wrong.
One of the most compelling aspects of this record, aside from how perfect most of the drones are, is that the creator remains in the background a good deal. In person, this sort of thing can swerve into almost theatrical gyrations, the human voice in the forefront and the pedals hit at almost random. This, however, features huge environments of dynamically pulsing tones, and only every so often do you get a sense there is a person actively creating the music. When you hear a voice, it is brief, covered up, and fleeting. However, the effect is much like that in ‘The Exorcist’ where a single frame is filled with a pale, hooded face. In other words, the music here barely lets you know somebody is there, lurking, but it doesn’t give you time to acclimate. If you could see that face, perhaps it wouldn’t be frightening. Likewise here, if the creator wasn’t so elusive and ephemeral, this music might not seem so menacing.
While reading Brian Greene’s new book ‘The Hidden Reality,’ a physics-for-non-physicists book on multiverses and infinitely large universes, he talks of the ramifications of and endless universe. In one early aside, he makes a fascinating comment about the cosmological principle bouncing around in Einstein’s head. Essentially, if you look at the details, things can seem endlessly complex. However, if you take your view back a bit, you begin to see patterns. He states that “if you’ve seen one 100 million light year block of space/time, you’ve seen them all.” That is, up close, things look unique, but from a distance the amount of matter, all the key elements line up. Drone is this way. In fact, this record is so good in part because it evokes thoughts of perception of time… each moment feel so compelling, so present, but if you pull away it seems uniform. Drone’s magic is thus its ability to present you with hidden enclaves of detail and presence within a sound that appears at once monolithic.
I keep referencing physical spaces as an analogue to these sounds. I do so because of the convenience of the comparison. Greene asks how one would describe a beach; one can do this because of the general uniformity of the beach. Yet we’re so fascinated. There is a unique (to us) shell, a strange texture in the sand, or a moisture or off temperature. You can get lost in descriptors. That’s true here, too. To talk about moments in this music would be to overlook the overarching consistency. To talk about the overarching consistency would be to lose the magical, personal details. I suppose you’ll simply have to seek this out.
Boris | Vanilla
"On January 24, 1973, İbrahim Kaypakkaya and his comrades were attacked by Turkish military forces in the mountains of Dersim. He was wounded badly, while a number of his comrades died. The military left Kaypakkaya for dead, allowing him to avoid capture. During that winter, severe weather conditions and snow forced him to take shelter in a cave for five days. Thereafter, he left for a village where he asked for assistance from a local teacher. Initially, the man allowed Kaypakkaya to take shelter in a room but then locked the door and reported him to the military.
The military officers tortured Kaypakkaya under custody in Diyarbakır Prison, infamous for its brutal treatment of inmates, for 4 months. In one instance, he was tortured for two weeks after which he was forced to walk barefoot over 50 km snow and icy rivers from city to city. On 18 May 1973, he was tortured to the brink of death and then shot and killed by military officers at the age of 24. His corpse was mutilated and cut up.”
I was so lazy I didn’t even try to listen to anything that wasn’t present on my playlist already. Was so burnt out and disgruntled about music as a whole I settled down to reading new release bulletins from some major websites. It just felt like traveling by foot to another place just to see the same dull and abashed suburbs.
Just as I wanted to tear my insides out seeing the superkvlt ultra satanic revival movement which got itself going in the last 3-4 years, the new school hardcore bands covered with baphomets and pentagrams which enjoy some mild success by shamelessly ripping off bands like Cursed and Integrity made me feel like bored to death and beyond from hardcore altogether.
Enter Seizures, with their latest release The Sanity Universal.
As raw as the humble beginnings of Converge, and hailing the 21st century musical god Trent Reznor with its melodic atmosphere and solid riffage, Seizures’ second album presents a recording that is as organic as it comes. The whole recording sounds like a good rehearsal full with energy recorded by the mistake of an excited studio technician. Drums sound like the bastardized child of a mountain troll and a Pershing tank, pummeling with ferocity under the baleful screams, which somehow manage to sound agonized and vehement at the same time.
It’s not unusual for a good band to make some forward progress on every release. Seems like Seizures possessed (and still does) so much untapped potential in them, to be exhumed and slapped in your face in the upcoming years. Contrary to chained and botchy chaotic guitars and drums that other bands like to abuse, their chaoticism is far from being horrendously irritating. It feels clean and pure, like drifting away in the vacuum of space with the closest hope of survival light years away.
Watching Seizures live just got embedded into my to do before I die list, in bold letters. The Sanity Universal is already available in their bandcamp, and looks like it’ll be pressed on black gold soon by Melotov Records.