Title: The Lakis Project
Keywords: Illbient, Modern Classical, IDM, Experimental
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
One of those things that really sucked when Noise-Joy imploded and was lost for so long was that I had a very small handful of artists for who Noise-Joy was the sole channel they went through to release material. I don’t know what I did necessarily to be so lucky as to be any artist’s #1 choice for a label, but I was always happy to do what I could for the loyalists. Anatomy#0273, later changed to just Anatomy0273 for his second work, was one of these artists. He found Noise-Joy from the UK somehow, and submitted this to me very early in the label’s life-span, in December actually… which would have been just two months after I started it, in fact. He was the fourth artist to be released on the label who I didn’t know personally, but the first one from outside the U.S. It’s very nice to be able to make this work and, soon, his second – a teaser of just two tracks meant to generate interest in another full-length album that, alas, was never released – available again on the web. I know… I say this all of the time! So, speaking of the music…
… ‘First (Short Version)’ begins like an uncomfortably conditioned sit in the waiting room of a hospital – or perhaps on the cold slab we are to be operated upon. Piano, echoing chamber ambience, a strange beep… there’s a touch of crackle in some of the frequencies. It ends with burbling electronics.
‘Systemic’ features a distorted guitar-like synth, an indeterminable rhythmic pulse sequence, then some very definite guitar comes into the mix. A minimal, bandpass rhythm comes in for a bit, and then a breakbeat that’s far more industrial with heavy distortion enters, alongside these pitched wailing electronic tones, piano refrains, synth sequences… then solitary piano and noisy IDM breaks come in when the rest breaks away.
The third track is ‘Lamentation In Winter’. A lofi break and electric piano begin the track… over this, strings that speak of isolation and misery come in, then piano. The beat intensifies, is cut up like slow-motion jungle breaks. Very nice!
Afterward is ‘The Touch Of Lakis’, in which piano reverberates and echoes while a large crowd of voices that sound like they’re having a dinner party can be heard in the overground. A strange sucking electronic noise comes in, curiously… a lot of the more ambient tones begin to sound throttled, distorted slightly even. The strings and piano are urgently warning of an impending apocalypse, perhaps? The feel of the album generally has that vibe to it, that the world is ending and we are struggling through it, maybe futilely, to protect something or someone that matters.
Then it’s ‘A Lakisian Falling’ in which more voices from a time or place that we can hear and almost mentally see but seeming distantly apart from reality as we are listening to it switch from foreground to background and piano, somber strings and a broken, cut up breakbeat rob our attentions to the present. A highly distorted break comes in after awhile, really nice! I also think I hear cold guitar fuzz adding texture to the background for awhile. The rhythms on this one are really varied and awesome.
‘6 Oct’ begins with deep, dark string and choir ensembles with sharp attack. A cello comes in, or maybe it’s a viola? There are more strings added, giving this track a melodic, budget-orchestral feel. Rejoined by piano, then by a kick drum that taps out the time until suddenly a distorted break comes in shredding all over the place. During a breakdown it’s just piano and filtered jungle breaks, ending with the trailing echoes of piano and a loud blast of drumnoise.
In ‘Street Market (Long Version)’ we hear more voices and somber, frantic orchestral sounds, as well as a wailing, distorted and exotic sounding electronic tone. A simple breakbeat and violin then come in. There are some really nice filtered and intently programmed breakbeat sections toward the middle and end… for some reason the music reminds me of a recurring dream I was having for a long time, have continued having occasionally even up to now, in which I’m in a mall of many tiers that is also sort of like a school, and I’m trying to navigate my way around, get certain places at certain times and am impeded by unwanted social situations, obstacle-laden courses and confusing layouts. These dreams shift perceptibly, very often, each time I have them. One of them, for instance, once became an apocalypse dream… I had left the mall-type environ to find myself in the streets, which were of a sort that are never there in any other version of the dream I’ve ever had. There were minimal crowds rushing away from here, and there were fires in the distance… I could hear sirens as well, and it was clear that the world was ending. I sought refuge, oddly for me, in a dilapidated church / manor with a dreary facade that sat across from the exit of the mall I stood at. When I went in I was met with a ghastly disembodied head to my right above a terrace that turned to face me as I held the door ajar. I quickly closed it and stepped outside, then steeled myself to go back inside after deciding there really was nowhere else to go and I was meant to follow this path. The disembodied head turned again, but now I was able to see the strings that suspended it, that made it turn with the opening of the door as if a ward against intruders. The head was pale, with longish black hair and black, hollowed out eyes and lips. I noticed stairs to my right then, leading to a large area underneath where the head had been suspended. I could see people sitting at a long table eating, and I made myself join them. Very soon, upon entering this hall and taking a seat at the large table, I noticed a human corpse laying upon a large banquet table nearby and simultaneously realized that the food presented before me was pilfered from the cadaver. My dream logic was something akin to “When in Rome…”, so I gathered up a large serving of many of the organs, blood-coated potatoes and other nastiness on a plate and began to eat, taking large bites and swallowing hard. All eyes were on me, but I kept my gaze averted to that of the “food” I was ingesting. After finishing much of my plate, I then turned to greet the stares of the mass of cannibals I had been dining amongst. Taking my time to look each one in the face, I then began to laugh as loud as I could and was immediately joined in laughter by all those present. It was at this moment I woke up in a cold sweat, wondering what the hell had brought on such a bizarre dream.
‘Waiting For’ almost sounds like a chiptune synth sequence swallowed up with ambient pads, before these disappear to be replaced by piano, abstract backgrounds and cello.
‘Mechanical Drum’ is the final track, featuring a downtempo drum beat, string ambiance, a sitar… then electric guitar… it’s depressive, but also with a touch of finality that makes it feel a bit more stoic than a lot of the rest of the material on the album. The drums are crisper, the programming even more attentive. The next section gets kind of downtempo breakbeat industrial, with a sizzling pad, strings and then somewhat fuzzy electronic leads that pan frequently left and right.
In my opinion, this one’s worth checking out for sure, so I’m going to hide the link underneath this sentence where you’ll never find it, ha ha ha!