Sunday, 14 July 2019

Oblivion Guest - The Light In the Black Hole.

Album: The Light in the Black Hole
Label: Self-released via Bandcamp
Catalogue no: N/A


1. The Light in the Black Hole
2. Mind Awake, Body Asleep
3. Digital Duress
4. If We Should Fail… (Black Hole Mix)
5. After the Fire
6. We Need to Go (Black Hole Mix)
7. Faster than Deception
8. Rapture (Black Hole Mix)
9. Bazille Murder (Black Hole Mix)
10. Fallen Men
11. Into Chaos
12. Last Gasp
13. Strangled Beauty

Oblivion Guest is musician, producer, composer, and performer Hunter Barr, the founder member of KnifeLadder along with Andrew Trail and the late John Murphy. He also works and tours with Black Light Ascension, Antivalium, This Is Radio Silence, and Naevus. This present work is the full soundtrack to a performance in Dresden of ‘The Light in the Black Hole’, by Barr and dancer Una Shamaa as part of Tanzwoche 2019.

This totally surprised me, as I was expecting something completely different – but don’t be put off by that because, in spite of being composed of thirteen electronic, even danceable, tracks, it’s every bit as atmospheric and mood inducing as any free-form ambient opus. Yes, there’s percussion, down and dirty bass rhythms, and ‘traditional’ song structures, but these pieces are aimed solely at a radioactive and mutated post-apocalyptic dancefloor of the future. Here you dance while you decompose.

The sound is dense, big, layered and for the most drives along at a behemothic clip, barrelling towards its inexorable date with destruction and dissolution. Dust and rubble trail in its wake, buildings collapse, seas dry up, fires burn, storms roil continuously, the acidic rains are never-ending, and the only living things left alive are misshapen, diseased, and distorted parodies of what were once the fauna and flora of the green earth. The land is barely recognisable, and the very air is smog-engulfed, polluted, and poisoned. However, there are also quiet and more contemplatively reflective moments too, brief respites from the relentless hopelessness of it all – the rays of a putrid sun shine through fleeting breaks in the clouds.

Favourite tracks: ‘Mind Awake, Body Asleep’, rife with swampy beats and harsh percussion; ‘Last Gasp’, a blanket of jet-blast electronics sweeping catastrophically and convulsively over an already-beaten land, and the last track ‘Strangled Beauty’, a haunting, keening lament, or perhaps the hint of a promise to return to what the world had once been. It’s all here – life, death, and the possibility of rebirth

The album will be available from August 2nd 2019 at Oblivion Guest’s Bandcamp page here as a CD and digital download,

Psymon Marshall 2019.

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