Post Scriptvm – Benommenheit CD Tesco Organisation 2014
Whilst Post Scriptvm have been a familiar name for many years this is actually their fifth album and third release for Tesco Organisation. Yet with ‘Benommenheit’ being the first album heard around these parts it has played the role of providing formal introduction to Post Scriptvm’s sonic world (…obviously this is symptomatic of the case that some artist’s miss out on warranted attention due to the sheer volume of material out there…). Nevertheless on first impressions ‘Benommenheit’ slots nicely within a broad post-industrial soundscape style, but approached with a distinctive and highly refined sound. Clearly Post Scriptvm are a project which rely on meticulously composed structures and where there are elements ‘studio trickery’ at play, which begs a more than passing reference to the current era and ‘soundscape’ oriented material of Propergol (…his impression seems to be further solidified by that fact that Post Scriptvm’s second album was released on Proergol’s own label Hermetique).
Across its 9 track and 55 minute span ‘Benommenheit’ delves into loosely composed post-industrial structures consisting of: stilted rhythms, wonky sound textures, hallucinogenic sonic treatments, vague disembodied voices, random radio chatter and the occasionally foray into composed segments with orchestral instrumentation. Of the more composed style ‘Faces Like Masks’ is one such example, with its tense soundtrack styled sub-orchestral mood. Likewise ‘Eerie Cargo’ is imbued with a mood specifically suggested by the title, being one of tense, sparely layered soundscape textures and sporadic percussive and piano flourishes. Late album track ‘Clinging on Like Grim Death’ moves into a differing sonic environment and is heavier than anything which precedes it, being a metallic percussive industrial number of loose clanging rhythms and sampled operatic styled vocals. ‘Mal De Debarquement’ then rounds the album out in maudlin electronics soundscape guise, of layered sweeping orchestral synth textures, sparse industrial grinding/ clanging tones and scattered indecipherable vocoder drenched vocalisations.
Despite its sonic variation, there is a an overarching atmosphere of paranoia throughout, which gives an impression of hidden surveillance and unseen watchers which could be described as rather “Kafkaesque” (…for non-Kafka readers this can be defined as “marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity” or “surreal distortion and sense of impending danger”). As such ‘Benommenheit’ is a varied and darkly experimental album, which also does not shy away from pushing into abstract, surreal and hallucinogenic territory at times (…again dovetailing nicely with the often absurdist tone of Kafka’s described bureaucratic oppression). Clearly this is the work of careful compositional structuring and refinement, which has a depth of sonic texture and detail, whilst most importantly maintaining a focused and engaging atmosphere throughout (…and an album which highlights the error of not checking out the group sooner…). A recommended release.