Tuesday, April 9, 2013

cremation lily - uncomplicated explanations.

as with my last cremation lily post, there's no link for this one. why? because I'm trying to respect zen zsigo's wishes that his music not be shared. trust me, I'd love to share every cremation lily release that I own because they're all amazing, and if the man himself were to read this and give me permission to share his work, what a glorious day that would be. but it's unlikely.

moving on...here we have a double c12 cassette release from zsigo's cremation lily project on his strange rules label. zsigo is quickly becoming the UK's answer to dominick fernow - he has a wide array of musical projects spanning multiple genres - hardcore, ambient, power electronics, and darkwave, to name a few -  as well as a label dedicated to noise and power electronics releases on small cassette runs with handcrafted artwork.

after numerous delays, this release is finally upon us and it doesn't disappoint. it's not as lengthy or as wild as "it's ok to say no," but it has a mood and atmosphere all it's own. the tracks - "my mother," "my father," "my brother," and "my sister," all have a distinct sound and sense of identity that I'm sure bear some personal meaning to zsigo himself.

sonically, these track all have an almost industrial edge to them - I can almost see the cacophonies of rumbling machinery in the background. "my mother" begins with rising and falling electronics under a layer of noise, backed by the aforementioned rumbling. heavily distorted, muffled vocals create another sonic layer while a droning guitar (?) provides a barely-there rhythm. "my father" begins with some almost melodic synth drones before layers of feedback and static emerge at the forefront. but those warm synth lines are never lost, always lurking in the distance and sometimes peeking through the chaos. zsigo's shouts sound almost like desperate pleas for help that barely emerge from the landscape of noise.

"my brother" begins with a blasting wall of noise and feedback and features more muffled vocals from zsigo still buried in the mix. and eventually the warm synths return, lending the track a strange feeling of comfort. "my sister" is probably the most rhythmic track on the album, featuring what I'd guess is hand-percussion that's been distorted beyond recognition and looped throughout the whole track. the vocals here are more clear and up-front than in any of the previous tracks but that certainly doesn't render them any more discernible.

there's something unique about the whole sound of this recording, and I think that can be attributed to everything being recorded directly to tape, with no digital intermediary anywhere in the process. the whole recording sounds old and dirty and decayed, which adds to the unsettling atmosphere, while the background of warm synths and the personal nature of the song titles takes it all in a different direction, one that a lot of people will probably find contradictory.

I could hypothesize that it all has something to do with the complex way zen zsigo might feel about his own family or families in general, but I don't know the man and any conclusions would be erroneous and premature, to say the least. nevertheless, it all comes together to form a fascinating and cohesive package from one of the most fascinating and versatile artists in the underground today.

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(visit the strange rules store for digital versions of select releases.)

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