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Release of 2020.
Comes as digipak, limited edition of 300 copies.
“Any work of architecture that does not express serenity is a mistake.” LUIS BARRAGAN
What is serenity?
To some; serenity is a tranquil, sequestered, fulfilled state of
existence. A wilful pause of the modern consumer existence that pollutes
and perverts our lives. A cessation of the demands modernity forces so
brutally upon our febrile short lives.
To others serenity exists within scripture, tomes and ritualistic expressions of the divine. The devout seek a glimpse of this divinity, through the serenity they seek whilst shackled to the cold clay of this mortal coil.
Stephen Burroughs is FRAG and FRAG is a project that has found
serenity in the brutalist architecture of the Midlands of Britain. In
seeking to express in sound; the collapse of the industrial heartlands
of the United Kingdom he has created through his FRAG project; a
collection of audio sculptures that evoke the concrete isolation of his
FRAG is the soundtrack to a mankind that is alienated completely from the natural order of life. His compositions are not warm but cold, angular and granular. Huge slabs of desolate anguish that despite their sterile inhumanity pulse and seethe with submerged longing. The sound of FRAG is that of a lone human hand extending skywards from a collapsed building. That hand pointing accusingly, cursing the heavens for that fate that has befallen it. Beneath that dead mortar is humanity slowly expiring under the cold dead weight.
It is entirely logical that FRAG and Maurizio Bianchi would collaborate together. In his early Archeo years Mr Bianchi explored the themes of isolated consciousness in the industrialised environment. The stark truth of the industrial age was explored by MB as he sought his own solace to the decaying soulless hell that surrounded him. Alienated by the inhumanity of his existence he sought to hold a mirror up to the crushing weight that sought to crush any and all resistance to its dehumanizing nature. Whilst MB sought to escape this brutalism of the soul by seeking an eremite like existence within the works of faith, FRAG became the lone wolf operative working behind enemy lines to fight a rearguard war of attrition against this inhuman leviathan. Both MB & FRAG have and are fighting the same war, against the same foe , using the same weaponry; the medium of sound.
Psychation despite containing three lengthy tracks really needs to be listened to as a whole. Despite the tracks being individual entities with quite different atmosphere they are best appreciated as a thematic progression across the entire album. These tracks are constantly evolving and mutating pieces of angular geometry. A cascade of electronic shapes that fluctuate and shift in a metamorphosis of Musique Concrete tonal expressionism. At times the unrelenting nature of the album is just about to break your endurance before a snatch of melodic ambience breaks through the tumult and disarray.
Where Psychation differs from most ‘noise’ based albums is that it
retains its granite density without descending into chaotic
nonsensicality. Despite the at times abrasive incisive attack of sound
it retains a sense of weight. Almost as if the sound is being layered as
one would layer asphalt, layer after layer added and poured. Over and
over again in ceaseless repetition. The sound of humanity as it is
drowned beneath the post human neo liberal order. Psychation is the
sound of humanity as it thrashes and drowns beneath the technologic
order that it has birthed into being.
Psychation is a warning to us all. A warning of the world we will inherit if we forgo our humanity and spirituality. If we throw all caution to the wind and embrace the technologic future.
Psychation is a window into that world. The post serenity, post human world of concrete, zero & ones and mindless consumerism.
MB & FRAG are pointing at the inevitable conclusion of our existence if we as humans choose to venture any further. (Review by Kristian Carter.)