Poltergeists is a biweekly feature in which Michael and Wes share tracks that they have had on repeat over the past two weeks.
Electronic Substance Abuse (ESA) - “Men Will Only Break Themselves”
Electronic Substance Abuse (ESA) has been an artist that I have followed since the iVardensphere/ESA/W.A.S.T.E. tour some years ago. Penance is a wonderful addition to the Themes of Carnal Empowerment series. It goes without saying that ESA has a very firm grip on technical programming and noise. “Men Will Only Break Themselves,” the introductory track, brings an entire ensemble of samples and elements into its structure for a meticulous payoff. At six and a half minutes, the tension breaks into a hypnotic dance beat that had me going pretty hard in my chair at work. I try to keep it together at work, but this is one of those songs that, when the break comes, you lose yourself.
Lingouf - “Pierre Noire”
I am one of those people who judge a book/album/movie by their cover. This is not my favorite cover and I am embarrassed to admit that I skipped over this album for a few weeks. This was a big mistake and I consider it a lesson learned. Oeuvre au Noir is a chaotically wonderful album. “Pierre Noire” is a track that I think most accurately previews the entire album. There are moments when I have no idea what is going on, or how it is happening in the song. These moments are followed by incredible breakdowns and rhythmic breaks that bring me right back on board with the song. For fans of: early Chrysalide, Twinkle, or 100blumen.
[Fun fact: “In Yourcenar's own words, ‘In alchemical treatises, the formula L'Oeuvre au Noir, designates what is said to be the most difficult phase of the alchemist's process, the separation and dissolution of substance. It is still not clear whether the term applied to daring experiments on matter itself, or whether it was understood to symbolize trials of the mind in discarding all forms of routine and prejudice. Doubtless it signified one or the other meaning alternately, or perhaps both at the same time.’ " (via Wikipedia)]
Chrysalide - “Anger Is A Show”
There’s a few albums that I always return to; the Good Life’s Album of the Year, Deafheaven’s Sunbather, and this, Chrysalide’s Don’t Be Scared, It’s About Life.
Lately, I’ve been returning to this album a lot; it was a very important album for me when I found it. It’s slow, brutal pacing, synthesized guitar sounds, texutres… it totally reshaped how I viewed the music I was listening to, and the music I was making. I didn’t think you could make music feel so aggressive without being fast, but Chrysalide’s heaviness showed me that aggression and anger could be shown another way. It could walk you down and crush you instead of coming in blitzes. It’s a weird sort of destructive beauty, this album. If you haven’t checked it out, please give it a listen, front to back.
Keluar - “Instinct”
I think I first became aware of Keluar through Zoè Zanias’ contribution to DSX’s Shifted EP. That EP led me to search out Zanias’ other work, which led me to this great set of tracks. I love the minimalist construction of the songs. It reminds me a bit of Haujobb the way it feels like the songs were stripped back until only the bare necessities were left behind. And even though it feels so pared back, you still have a strong beat, wonderful little plucks, and interesting textures carrying you throughout the song. Zanias’ vocal delivery feels like it fits perfectly with the underlying music as well; it haunts the melody with its mood.