ela orleans: circles of upper and lower hell (night school)

man it’s been (and remains) a challenge to grip, grasp, get a hold of this aethereal bastard.

seventy-odd minutes of disquietingly gentle ectenic force. an ectoplasm that’d disintegrate under the harsh glare of light.

a spiderweb, tenuous, tensile. tactile; possibly tactical. deliberate smoke.

enough clumsy prolix…

that it’s like this is probably why it’s like this.

fresh off a remastered screening of fritz lang’s metropolis which last time i saw was the butchered version, the damaged narrative buried beneath a gauze of pomp and disco. so, as always, drawing parallels, scrappy, hazy.

the guts of stories exteriorized, turned out, uncontextual and needing to be put back in place.

variations on a theme. in that it’s all re-: treaded, travelled, imagined, iterated, appropriated. feels like an accumulation of every idea orleans has ever had. feels like as much of an end of everything as a start of something.

circles. ouroboros. above / below. the fascination with space and sky gone. literally the opposite of celestial i s’pose.

abandon all hope ye who enter here… so yeah, a journey/descent: metaphorical, literal, emotional, physical. the search. the sins. the turmoil. the becoming. expands into a baroque outwards and inwards geography. maybe it should come with a map…

it’d be easy to get lost, wander off and drown in this heady/heavy tarpit of allegory, context and literary appropriation (including but not exclusive to crowley, rimbaud, yeats). but she sidesteps this by making what initially feels like a bedroom pop record (it’s not) that’s somehow cohesive (it’s not) yet all over the shop (it’s not) at the same time.

flipsides of umpteen coins.

sounds? avoiding the lazy shorthand of soundtrack or cinematic. too easy to say avant-pop. more a jazz record without the jazz, just the bits between. interstitial jazz? i dunno… concrete / concrète like a spirit photograph. whatever it is, is her. with bits of pastels squeezed in.

given the chance i’d draw you a mad fucking line from nico’s the end to venetian snares’ rossz csillag alatt született to julia holter’s tragedy to this. but. despite the cloy of curse and doom hanging heavy, this has the air of completion, of rebirth, rather than a lovecraftian apocalypse.

am i not floating in a mist of light? o lift me up and i shall reach the sun!

what it is is the most ambitious little (not meant pejoratively) record i’ve heard in ages. yeah, occasionally, it tries too hard, it overreaches, there’s sporadic stumbles and missteps but goddamn this ornate warts and all approach, the boldness (almost contrarily huge and delicate) intrinsic to her approach here are to be admired, appreciated, reflected upon.

in spite of the spite that is day’s, we are wed, we are wild, we are one

ela orleans / night school

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