al karpenter: musik from a private hell (bruit direct disques)

a scattering of beats and rhythms, microcosms of barely-there melody, and

no more heroes left and no more wasteland we burned this land we burned this wasteland we turned this land into a wasteland

man, that ambiguity. is it self-destruction or scorched earth? are they different at this point? one minute in and we’re dealing with eighteen months of political manoeuvring, climatic breakdown, and global pandemic that cannot be separated or seemingly dealt with.

it’s very much a companion piece, but if the last album occasionally felt like action, a kindof call to arms, this feels post-revolution (or post-anti-climax at least), the gravitational pull of reality, the inevitability of revelation. the one-sheet quotes deleuze and guattari so i guess that’s where we are with that. if we can’t dream echoed the giddy nihilist spasming of the stooges 1969, this apes the stranglers leering cynicism (in words anyway). no more heroes anymore. so where are we? alone, decaying…

this doesn’t sound like the streets, or studio, or stage. there’s nothing communal about this noise. with headphones it mutters, cotton-mouthed, in ear. with speakers it’s a second or third hand sound bleeding through walls. isolated, disembodied, apart. let’s say machine music, where things are connected, but solitary. mumbling into the void. a locked twitter feed vomits despair.

despite the philosophic nods it’s no more of an intellectual exercise than an emotional one. unlike deleuze (i absorb his work second hand, the ideas are fine, but goddamn, the writing…) it’s a fairly straightforward record, yet too simple to be difficult, too subtle to quite grasp, too rigid to move to, too loose to shape.

what you get are semi-pointillist forms (or semi-formalist points). what you get are asymmetrical diversions. what you get are spectral rhythms and aphorisms circling the drain. one chord plays in a room (different from the one you are in now) and there’s no-one there to hear it. tired bursts of fried notes, singing with appliance drone, background hum.

i feel cut off from much of this.

if it sounds weary i guess that’s coz we’re all fucking weary. if it’s not weary it’s coz i am weary. almost certainly projecting but it stinks of the bored and sickened.

can’t tell if the voice is central or entirely unimportant but the lyrics are a slur of croaked / hissed / screeched incomprehension. libertarian song is jim morrison’s heart fluttering to a stop in that parisian bath. eyes without faces like celtic frost atomising mid-song.

i want my fucking mtv / i want my money back?

if that’s the line i’m laughing. if that’s not the line does it matter?

the more i listen the less random it appears / reappears / disappears. gets itself all locked in: repetition, reflection. the void, gazing. the rhizome as ouroboros, atrophying. as politics, as music, as manifesto, it’s smoke.

fuckit, can’t get a grip…


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