Experimedia continue their quest into occult fantasia with Telecult Powers’ “Black Meditations”. Several vocal samples embedded into the narrative are the album’s clearest marker of occult style. It succeeds as a work of trying tempestuousness: the music is not an easy listen, taking time to burrow into your amygdala. The emotional clusterfuck of “Incident At El Yunque” teases with queasy hiccups of bass and treble. It’s a speaker system stripped of its midrange. The story of the source material is unclear from the press release, but what it most reminds this reviewer of is atmospherics from the dark side of jungle duo Source Direct. “I am in a position to know secret information / You must have faith and power, secret power / Mankind’s champions” is a sampledelia not dissimilar to the latter’s “Call And Response”. It’s as much an oddity as it is a lure.
This mood of intrigued alienation continues throughout the record. “Clairvoyeurance” can be seen as entangling its theme in a mixed metaphor. That sense of ambiguity and unease pervades throughout with a seething, metallic electro-drone. As musical material it’s not without its contextual flaws: so much music of the Eliane Radigue variety has centred itself on powerful noises. However, this undervalues the cohesion of the LP’s tracks, the way they work together as a singular entity. Highlight “Oerg & The Mothership” adapts a shuffling pulse that soaks up moisture like linen in a washing machine. Noise has never sounded this permeating, unconscious or not.
“Black Meditations” seems to lie in an obscured limbo between what works and what doesn’t. The sounds grip you and all the while push you away in a sea of transistor radio interference. “Let us begin by making the sign of the pyramid” on “Take A Sip From Our Devil’s Cup” delineates well the angle of these soundscapes. They’re perilous, like stepping over quicksand. They eschew pretty much everything valued by popular music. “You are now transcending time / You are becoming immortal”. Perhaps, but that indecision of touch keeps you wondering.
As a collection of tracks “Black Meditations” is a firmly black and white listen. The noises are sometimes soothing, regularly opaque, and full of temporal gesture. Choirs at the end of “A Wish For Quisch” provide a welcome glimpse of cornucopian idealism on an album where the overarching aim seems to go back to black.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/157050394″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]