A Journal Of The Dark Arts
For those that despise straight lines, who defy categorization. For those that lack the time or resources to cherrypick the best Library Music. For those strung out on ecstacy backlash, depleted from 15 years of swimming along the hardcore continuum, this one’s for you.
NeoTantrik is an electroacoustic collaboration between Andy Votel, Sean Canty of Demdike Stare, Jane Weaver and N.Racker. InterVisions is made up of 6 improvisations, jams, recorded on location in Bristol, Rotterdam, and Stockport. The press release for their previous release, Cube Bristol, which is included here for re-release, speaks of “mysterious multi-disciplinary rituals making use of Shruti boxes, pocket keyboards, dulcimers and fuzz boxes, vocals and percussion, alongside reorganised chunks, trickles and traces of unknown (to us, at least) obscure and occultist wax in cloud of mimetic and sensual references to transcendental, nu-religious and metaphysical music forms. You just don’t know.”
It’s true, it’s hard to tell what exactly the fuck is going on here, and that is part of the fun. It is easy to picture the quartet in a dim gallery, Haxan footage backlighting their hooded visages. It is this sparsity of information combined with rich visual imagination, that makes this a useful and interesting addition to yr listening queue.
There is a shallowness to information easily obtained, with connect-the-genre album reviews and preset d-n-b conquering Juno. Tutorials and FAQs are great for quickly assimilating the corpus scientiam, but one still has to process those pieces, to figure out what one is trying to say, and how to say it. That is why exercises in imagination are so useful, teach you how to think deeply, how to exercise the visionary quality of yr brain, how to invite inspiration.
There is little biographical data to be had for NeoTantrik, or any of these recordings; no one had written a review of any note, so i am off the map, forced to rely on ears and mind to make heads of tales. It seems to me that InterVisions is a collection of improvisations, with some permutation of the 4 members assembling vintage electronics, ritualistic percussion and found sounds (either from samples or lifted and processed from wax). I would file this under electroacoustic improv, call it Onkyo, that most asiatic and Zen of careful listening styles. All 4 performers are inveterate improvisors, using a unique sound pallet to create a new jam, a new ritual for the 21st century. Where else will you hear minor key piano lamentation mingled with rainbow LFOs and reed organ? The pieces are mostly of a whole, InterVisions swallows you up like the Uroboros, while you slowly stew in its juices for half an hour. ‘Sous Le Meme Soleil, Vie Disparu Dans Le Ciel’, the opener of side B, is a standout track, however, if only cuz its keyboards (there are many of them) sound so tasty, sounding like a cross between Spacemen 3 and John Paul Jones‘ medieval fantasy in The Song Remains The Same. For someone looking for the abridged version of InterVision ‘Intervisionary Heretic’, the most lengthy and epic jam here, is the best example of the record’s DNA: synth fracking free jazz with hints of trancy percussion and smidgens of artifact noise.
Speaking of LFOs and Organs, part of what makes this outing so pleasurable is their dedication to rare, weird, old gear, and frankly, the tones and synths sound bloody fantastic, and go a long way towards transporting the listener to these phantom Galleries where these recordings originated.
Canty, Votel and friends seem intent on creating a new trance language for these times, simultaneously ancient and pagan and SF and technological at the same time. Along the way, they could initiate the unfamiliar to the terrifying, fascinating world of private press synth LPs, Lo-fi live documents, arthouse noise, free jazz spazz, b-movies and magickal ritual.
Pre-Cert Home Entertainment releases always go quick, and there are still some left at Boomkat, so get it while you can: