SEA 13 | Ellende | [The abc of drowning]
" ...Music is not in visible space, but it besieges, undermines
and displaces that space, so that soon these overdressed listeners who
take a judicial air and exchange remarks or smiles, unaware that the
floor is trembling beneath their feet, are like ship's crew buffered
about on the surface of a tempestuous sea. The two spaces are distinguishable
only against the background of a common world, and can compete with
each other only because they both lay claim to total being. They are
united at the very moment they clash..."
- M. Merleau-Ponty,
Phenomenology of perception, Routledge, London 1994 (p. 225)
is a mysterious outfit based around an organization diagram where a
few core founder members (one is dutch & currently lives in Tokyo)
format works they receive from other anonymous participants, or sculpt
new pieces from a large stock of archived material...
There's a sort of ritual aspect
to the process which pays also homage to deceased
ELLENDE is thus a strange schizophrenic
hydra who quickly flooded the experimental scene with an host of intriguing
For their MS hypnotic composition, 2 of the core members
actually played physically together which clearly contributed to give
it an increased aura of presence...
"The abc of drowning" is a downward spiralling
suction, a gradual fading into the trails of an inescapable vortex...
an experience of self-loss & perceptual retuning...
Below the surface, faint sounds ricochet becoming a string of fecund
modulations... leading us to an undefined border of sensory disorientation...
As we go along, time freezes, mental images recombine themselves randomly,
all linearity is denatured...
This is a drift beyond landmarks, an amniotic reconditioning...
The a > listen !
02. The b
03. The abc > listen !
The ABC of
Drowning is the first I've seen from
Ellende that's not in a black and white motif. I like those
a lot, the singular idea that rules the motif seems to inform the intent.
But that after all is only the cover art. The sound in this one is probably
closer to extreme drift than any previous Ellende work
and it grabs you right off the bat. Tones and strains have the slight
hint of dark sentimentality, a glancing back, a shuddering attempt to
remember. The requisite weirdness is still there; the hidden voices,
the illogical turns and creeping hallucinations. Nothing is as it seems
in an Ellende work. this is strangeness for those who
are used to the strange. An hour and nine minutes of blissful oddity.
: 3 out of 5
The ABC of Drowning
was recorded randomly over the course of sixteen years. It features
something of a light-speed tunnel ride of partial sound surrounding
you, and then it dissipates and repeats again. Like other records in
their wake this is quite the oblique ride into a haunted void. Along
the way what illustrates this are a series of bloated background reverberations
that sound like repeated nightmares of ancient Rome and/or large creatures
that no longer inhabit our planet. How can one record have so many disparate
parallels without compromising its integrity? ĎThe ABC of Drowningí
works more like a history book of sorts, with only a hinted glint of
what was, and simply shapes the memories out of fragments. What the
listener gets is an aerated version, quite filtered down from its original
context. So itís more like a digitized image from a photocopy than a
page from any actual history. But its all done with the sleight of hand
by way of a mystical cascade of sound effects that
create their own atmosphere, one that billows with winds, shades light
and otherwise keeps a heavy overcoat on at all times.
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