A Journal Of The Dark Arts
embarking with the pale dead – coffins under sail – women with dead hair – pale white bakers –
a dark purple river – the silence of death
There are cemeteries that are lonely,
graves full of bones that do not make a sound,
the heart moving through a tunnel,
in it darkness, darkness, darkness,
like a shipwreck we die going into ourselves,
as though we were drowning inside our hearts,
as though we lived falling out of the skin into the soul.
And there are corpses,
feet made of cold and sticky clay,
death is inside the bones,
like a barking where there are no dogs,
coming out from bells somewhere, from graves somewhere,
growing in the damp air like tears of rain.
Sometimes I see alone
coffins under sail,
embarking with the pale dead, with women that have dead hair,
with bakers who are as white as angels,
and pensive young girls married to notary publics,
caskets sailing up the vertical river of the dead,
the river of dark purple,
moving upstream with sails filled out by the sound of death,
filled by the sound of death which is silence.
Death arrives among all that sound
like a shoe with no foot in it, like a suit with no man in it,
comes and knocks, using a ring with no stone in it, with no
finger in it,
comes and shouts with no mouth, with no tongue, with no
Nevertheless its steps can be heard
and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree.
I’m not sure, I understand only a little, I can hardly see,
but it seems to me that its singing has the color of damp violets,
of violets that are at home in the earth,
because the face of death is green,
and the look death gives is green,
with the penetrating dampness of a violet leaf
and the somber color of embittered winter.
But death also goes through the world dressed as a broom,
lapping the floor, looking for dead bodies,
death is inside the broom,
the broom is the tongue of death looking for corpses,
it is the needle of death looking for thread.
Death is inside the folding cots:
it spends its life sleeping on the slow mattresses,
in the black blankets, and suddenly breathes out:
it blows out a mournful sound that swells the sheets,
and the beds go sailing toward a port
where death is waiting, dressed like an admiral.
– Pablo Neruda, Nothing But Death
“Death gives meaning to our lives. It gives importance and value to time. Time would become meaningless if there were too much of it.” – Ray Kurzweil
“The limits of my language stand for the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein
“There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, then are dreamed of in your philosophy.” – William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1.5.167-8)
Imagine you are fumbling through some deep, dark, dank cavern, thousands of miles from fresh air or any source of natural illumination, armed only with a tiny penlight. Think of the panic as that tiny thread of illumination begins to flicker, sputter, and fade, leaving you alone with Gods know what.
It shouldn’t be that difficult of a thought exercise – it’s not that dissimilar to our daily realities, given how much we don’t see, know, or understand at any given moment.
It is said that nature abhors a vacuum. If that’s true, the mind must be the most natural of instruments, as the brain just can’t stand unknowing. It can’t just look at the map, say ‘here be monsters,’ and be satisfied. We have to KNOW.
I mean, it makes sense. Our nervous systems developed over millions of years to protect us from predators, poisonous plants, natural disasters, human enemies, starvation, the seasons – all manner of big, bad beasties to bump in the night.
The Next Time You Have A Nightmare, Remember This Mixtape is the newest transmission from our dear friends at Aetheric Records, from the mysterious, mistily monikered Kindred Spirits. The Next Time shares a similar funereal preoccupation with the rest of the Aetheric Records canon, conjuring pitch black hallways; dank, mildewed basements; and table-rapping seances, using an arsenal of ominous doomy metal, abstract electronics and disorienting sound collage.
As with a lot of horrorscores, this is not all menacing terror or brutality. Horror, we must remember, is an inverted search for the sublime – risking pains of hell looking for miracles, like a Stalker risking it all for one more afternoon In The Zone.
Glistening, sparkling, scintillating sine waves sound downright WARM, about halfway in, materializing like a vision of a dead lost loved one. Don’t get too comfortable, however, as the bottom drops out like The Tower Of Terror, as burning bass drones creep in like deranged Triceratops, as we reach the final 1/3 of this soliloquy on the limits of human understanding.
The Next Time You Have A Nightmare, Remember This Mixtape is an essential soundtrack for anyone reading or writing fin-de-siecle horror or sci-fi – the Cosmic Horror of H. P. Lovecraft or the wooly weird fiction of William Hope Hodgson. It also makes a sublime counterpart for any kind of haunted bedsit/suburbia, like the Enfield Poltergeist.
As is often the case, especially in the case of ghostly, droning music like this – my purpose for posting is manifold. First, and foremost, is to alert you to the spectral presence of this mandatory mixtape. The second is to call upon yr mutual expertise – as i know i have a lot of ghostly, haunted experts reading these pages. Finding music for seances is notoriously difficult, as it’s more of a MOOD than a genre, and having a picture of a circle of hands on yr cover does not necessarily make for seance music.
Absolutely gloriously creepy shit from Aetheric Records and Kindred Spirits. I love this freaking mixtape, and have already listened many, many times, but it is genuinely UNNERVING, creeping me out in the middle of the night and continuing to give chills on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
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Tune into every Sunday night/Monday morning for Morningstar: The Light In The Darkness @ Freeform Portland! Exploring the dark side of techno, hip-hop, shoegaze, metal, psych, folk, and soundtrack. You can listen to the archives online at mixcloud.com/for3stpunk.