Locrian & Christopher Heeman [Review]

Body collectors Locrian snagged a big one this time.  On this collaborative LP, the trio juxtapose their black cube to the experimental excellence of Christopher Heeman, most notably, for me anyway, of Mirror.  Heeman himself is quite the decorated collaborator, in his solo guise working with Jim O’Rourke, Charlemagne Palestine, Current 93 et al, and Merzbow, among others.  Indeed, it would seem the tail wags the dog, and perhaps Heeman is on the wrong side of the ampersand when Locrian’s general plague-scape is restricted from its ‘risk society’ thesis to a palette of the avant-gardist, applied in swatches, abstracts, and generous rococo bands.  That is, the totality of so many Locrian tracks is excerpted like panoramic photographs – discrete, yet vast – in each of these four, double-digit recordings.  Echoing the first entry point – the glitched, new aestheticky cover image (art by Sean Dack) – “Hecatomb” sets in as a smear of Locrian referents: Moorish, ominous, “Battery”-like acoustics cast wide open drones staggered by horns, which abut the recent-Eno sounds of padded floor drums, sustained piano chords, and a strange urge not to run like hell.  Optimistic too is “Loathe the Light”, which employs Hannum’s black metal vocals and a brilliant theme of natural harmonics, yet which spins on a willing access of recurring rhythm, ebb and flow like a mobile; the juxtaposition is comprehensive of its elements, with the effect that the hellraiser has been ensnared by some third force, subjected to a perverse justice to our tribute.  Forming a fine pair over nearly 30 minutes, the b-sides “Edgeless City” and “The Drowned Forest” reach a synthesis with no overt seams, blending a rich, blurry symphony into a chanted swell, mounted to an atmospheric accumulation of drones.  The whole is greater than the sum of its parts: Locrian-program is no longer remixed by Heeman-interloper, but both are overwhelmed by the common awe of scale in mimesis.  Edition of 500 on black and swirled vinyl, in glossy gatefold jackets.  Recommended.

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