Black Swan – Travesty Waves

Oscar Wilde once said precious moments lie in short spells, an idea fractured drone architect Black Swan take’s on board with customised on-board samplers. I’ve kept a close eye on the initiative since copping (Dennis Huddleston’s) 36’s back catalogue via Band Camp subscription, and the results here come to nothing – not as insult – as the source of inspiration. Why is this not unhealthy to say? Because nothingness is fate – ever-existence, and the results here are plumage drawing tears of inbound joy from my eyes. Everything is life-affirming here, a drone vessel split into occult fragments with the power of a dark Angel.

All this time – in the netherworld, the nether-work, the after-existence, the post-chaos of creation, general instances having indices for life and after, womb and old age, fascination and degeneration… everything eventually becomes one. In one, lies singularity. Evil is the existence of singularity, this is spreading – totalitarianism, in a nutshell. But we don’t always live like that – we are normally quite philanthropic creatures in this day and age. Donald Trump’s extremist logic, separatism, “us and them”, the gentrified notions of a “better race”, xenophobia… this blah thought-stuff is potentially poisonous to people like you and me. Especially people who live ambient and folk music, because this is music; calm notions, or rather a subset of humankind, and intellectual pursuits of love. Introduction spiel aside, we move onto the imperial logic. “Travesty Waves” from Black Swan is at times a mirage for a sea of travesty; or a waiving, metaphorically of the things that lead up to one. Is the music chaotic? It is always serenely powerful. Does it imply notions of destruction? It’s more like post-apocalyptic visions.

Is there an eradication of the central core? No, the core is sharp and not rotten at heart, the heart beats beautifully here. Black Swan has had quite a few releases since 2010 on labels related to the Farewell Poetry project: “Waiting For The Invisible To Ignite” by FP particularly stands out in the memory. Through paranormal art lattices – writing that entices – is a less myopic, dilligent stream… unlike metal though, which would instead lead to “waiting for your mind to blow up”. Heh. “Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear” – Haruki Murakami. The Japanese novelist has it right. Ambient music is driven by a relationship with less noise = more sound. There is plenty of equalising, almost in a sound-proofing way, here, too. Instrumentation: – presents a pretty yet melancholic picture, with a general foreboding atmosphere. Although it is less dread and more sadness, as in a travesty. A key note in English Literature examinations of the past 50 years, when studying playwrights like William Shakespeare and his lauded “Romeo & Juliet”, is to accurately disseminate the literal difference between tragedy: a terrible circumstance befalling an unsuspecting victim, always about death; and travesty: which is about decay, dilapidation and degeneration. Black Swan’s records have always been stormy affairs, but there have also been moments of sheer polarising brilliance in the production – the art of sibilance and sense.

I have no favourite tracks here – the suite is a mosaic waiting to be glued together by a sequencer of the music. Although the soul-searing hope of “The Harlequin’s Despair”, with its high octave synthesiser melodies and general loveliness and lushness, paints a picture quite unlike producers apart from fellow collaborator EUS, and if you need a good example of what this music sounds like, the more melodic, prettier side of BJ Nilsen is a decent starting point. “Travesty…” takes no prisoners, but the record is not a record of imprisoning mood. This is music of lofty ideals, of soul-searching, of optimism, of the dreaming of grass – or should that be waves – greener on the other side of the ocean.

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