IN CAMERA – Rumours

Dom Bartwuchs

Christoph Heemann, Timo Van Luijk: unspecified instruments.

Reportedly, Rumours features the VPRO sessions that originated the bonus CD incorporated in the “collector’s item” edition of the duo’s 2006 LP Open Air on Robot Records, but I seem to recall different results and even titles (absent here). I’ll have to check better – too problematic to retrieve that record now (the archive’s furniture is collapsing, friends). Anyway, no need to worry in case you’re suffering from drone dehydration: Heemann and Van Luijk have returned to relieve the faithful’s pain.

First half almost entirely attended by a threateningly oscillatory heavy murmur, of the type that stuffs the sensory receptors with jumbles of subsonic lipids. In the background, diverse forms of activities on string instruments and other assorted sources are intermeshed with field recordings; everything is so intemperately filtered and equalized (mainly cutting off the higher frequencies) that the whole resounds as a monolithically unclean single entity, smothering at times but more often tending to “celestial grey”. The B side begins in a comparable framework, with the add-on of something resembling the elastic straining of a meowing cat; heaven knows what it is instead. Subsequently we start to catch glimpses of acoustic misconceptions integrated with many blends of hissing and humming matters: what sounds like a car’s revving engine is most probably a chubby synthetic wave, creaking doors and bowed metal fuse, and the contiguous static textures are not so inert after all. A rather intimidating compost. Is that wind? A chopper? The final “heartbeat” is marvelous, apropos. Yet, the song remains the same: verbal descriptions are pathetic.

Again, “amorphous” is the adjective of choice; the imagination is left free to wander, but this autonomy is soon exchanged with a firm stare towards our past, which used to prospect immunity from routine commonplaces and honest happiness if only we would guess the right moves, not a difficult thing to do. Naturally it didn’t go that way. But at least the music is there to save the encephalon from the impairment of self-deception, calling back the Vibration we demand for survival.

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