WTF Album: Sadomasochisme Satanique & Heresies Diverses
Tags: Electronic, sexual, experimental, abstract
WTF Quality: Abstract bizarre sex ritual music
Lifespan: 1980 -
Music throughout known history has been used to accompany stories. Vibrations we know as real "sound" are fitted with tales of epic events and thus are imbued with "atmosphere" and "mood." Stripped of the words, much of modern non-vocal music is a kind of open-ended storytelling with various scenes, events, transitions, developments, and perhaps dynamic tension and release. The sounds are real. Sometimes we know how they are produced (what they are), other times they are unknown. When we listen we interpret them into feelings.
This album is a collaborative effort, an "InterRemix" between Diaenoxe (Phillippe Rivrain) and Uberlulul (Martin Lulu) [Lulu, by the way, translates into "Excentric" in English]. Rivrain describes the music as "apocolyptic, absurd," and the album's title and artwork, together with the sounds to be heard within, are sure to conjure up images of bizarre sex rituals.
While the representation of the music seems clear and straightforward, the music itself contains an abundance of sounds that cannot be linked to images or ideas in such a clear fashion. They are left open to the imagination. A sound event containing complex timbres and harmonics could be almost anything - water motion, a winding machine, close up sounds of micro-organisms, an oscillating electric circuit, planets colliding, the dream of a fairy creature, and so on ad infinitum, whereas the sound of a moaning female leaves little room for interpretation. Once we know what it is, we simply cannot, for all intents and purposes, escape this knowledge.
Many of the sounds in Sadomasochisme Satanique & Heresies Diverses lie in between the two extremes of recognizability. Some sounds certainly have a strange deep vocal groaning quality, but more like that of a demon or cyborg, not of any natural human voice. Other sounds are reminiscent of water droplets, while others could represent animal sounds. Still many others are so far from sounds we know and have stored in our minds as to be fairly novel. If we listen to lots of abstract experimental music, we may have crude ways of describing such sounds - fluttery, crunchy, swoopy, gliding, harmonically rich, thin, piercing, throbbing, tightly buzzing, scratchy; we may also use onomatopoeia, or, as above, we may use metaphor. We naturally tend to visualize, some of us more than others, but interplay between the senses is a common human trait.
The word "abstract" can take on many meanings depending on its context; in visual art, there is a design but no real objects being depicted. In philosophy it is thinking about thought itself apart from real world phenomena. As a strict definition, abstraction means "apart from concrete existence," so all verbal communication is in essence abstract. Reality itself, our experience of senses as processes within the brain, can be perceived as a foggy, dreamlike notion. In music, it is hard to define what is abstraction. One possibility is in music that lacks traditional elements - tonality and melody, as well form based on those elements. Another possibility, detached from history, is that the sounds themselves are of unknown origin and we therefore cannot visualize their source.
In both senses, Diaenoxe's music is highly abstract, particularly another recent album, Obd Gong Damötöu. The track titles are not in English (perhaps a few of the words are French?) and the music is fairly devoid of rhythm, tonality, melody, harmony, or concrete sounds. I have no idea what it's supposed to be, other than strange music.
Sadomasochisme Satanique & Heresies Diverses is interesting in that it combines this highly abstract approach with a strongly cinematic theme underlying the music. Only the first track has a fairly straight rhythmic beat and harmony - the following tracks lead us on a trip into a strange place which resembles our reality but is not quite so.
Sadomasochisme Satanique & Heresies Diverses
Obd Gong Damötöu
Visit Diaenoxe on the web:
Posted by WTFMusic.org