Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Stranger - Watching Dead Empires in Decay (Modern Love, 2013)

James Leyland Kirby is, without question, one of my most listened to artists of the past few years. His work as The Caretaker is akin to the static background music of my mind. Whereas that work invokes the ghosts of the Overlook Hotel ballroom, with its chopped and screwed 78's, his new work as The Stranger has a different cinematic feel.

This is like the bleakest scenes from Eraserhead. This is what it would sound like if Raime and Demdike Stare were proles working in a  factory at night. The graveyard shift crew haggard and miserable, overworked and delirious. The ambience is their hallucinations, horrors fit for the dungeon they're in. The percussive elements are the proverbial whips to the back demanding the completion of this sixteen hour task. There is also a bit of Lustmord's "Metavoid" record, like plodding through a marsh knee deep in the muck, as in a nightmare when you have trouble walking. If you find beauty in masochistic doom and gloom, you'll love this one.

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