4 out of 5
Label: Auris Apothecary
Produced by: Deeskee (mastered by)
With drum-circle percussion ghosting in the background, and obfuscated samples of prophetic-sounding speakers, all mixed between layers of noise, experimental artist FRKSE absolutely achieves the intended theme – according to the bandcamp blurb – of “false prophets and the empty promises of spirituality” throughout Desecration Anxiety I.
Hiss; static; tones – but these aren’t structureless tracks, as the drone elements are guided by occasional guitar, and more forward-layered drums, clipped at generally concise runtimes such that FRKSE can afford to either loop things for rhythmic effect, and then also have room to massage the chaos here and there, clearly marking these as songs, and not just patched-together washes of creepy and creaky sounds. After a driving opening cut, with waves of static being carried by a steady, but notable drum beat, repetition and a somewhat wandering sense of sequencing – open-ended tracks next to open-ended tracks – prevent the first half of Desecration Anxiety from fully taking hold. But after the midway point (almost literally the A-side / B-side split of the LP, excepting a short lead-in on the B-side), everything starts to have a very defined sense of structure and flow, with the relative momentum of the first song mirrored but given a somewhat darker, and more directly somber edge. In a favorable thematic reading – and this includes song titles – the opening half is more representative of questioning the themes, with the latter half more fully settled on cynicism. This is fascinating conceptually, and all of the full tracks, individually, are dense and worthy of listen and study, but it does make the B-side a more immersive listen than A.
Very engaging stuff, and another notch in Auris Apothecary’s belt, bemarking them kings of consistently unnerving releases.