Akira Rabelais - Caduceus

Samadhisound # sound cd ss019 [CD]

Pre-order: to be released on 25.05.10. Please note that your order will be charged at time of purchase, but the entire order will not ship until the release date of the 24th of May.

1. Seduced by the Silence
2. On the Little In-betweens
3. Then the Substanceless Blue
4. Where to Let Our Scars Fall in Love
5. With the Gift of Your Small Breath
6. And the Permanence of Smoke or Stars
7. Night Dances Through Heaven's Black Amnesia
8. Comme un Ange Enivré d'un Soleil Radieux
9. Surface of Soft Steps, Violets Whisper
10. In a Cadence of Vanishing
11. And Emptiness Over Eyes
12. As Fingers Trace Around the Rim of a Colourless Sky
13. A Door Opens Backwards

On his samadhisound debut, Spellewauerynsherde, Akira Rabelais crafted austere settings to found recordings of Icelandic songs of lament. His follow-up, Caduceus, is a different beast – a study of guitar and extreme distortion that’s both harsh and mesmerising.

samadhisound founder David Sylvian describes it as “caustically romantic”: “Akira's recording presents you with an auditory experience quite unlike any other. It's by turns a brutal and discomforting ride. Outside of the full-on audio assault, there's unsettling disquiet in its quietude. Once heard it won't be forgotten and for those seeking out recorded music that is transformative, experiential, this material has that potency.”

To create the distortion, Rabelais wrote a filter by modelling sources such as fuzz boxes and old guitar pedals. Samples of AM radio also lurk in the mix. “You can hear faint fragments of voice in a couple of places on the album. I used static concretely and as a data modelling source. It's exceptionally tasty... right up there with a wedge of Red Leicester and a well structured Nero d'Avola.”

Several of the pieces on Caduceus evolved in multiple directions, and all but one of the tracks are presented in two parts – for example, the opening and closing cuts, or tracks three and four. “As with just about everything I do it's mostly a matter of listening and waiting for the tracks to reveal their intentions. The album came to have a cinematic quality in my mind’s eye, something like a soundtrack to a Western by Cocteau and Chris Cunningham.” Listening suggests scenes – the slow-motion gunfight, the hero’s death, the peace of sleeping under the stars. But usually a soundtrack sticks to the background; few films could stand up to Caduceus’ onslaught.

Perhaps the most challenging release in samadhisound’s catalogue, Caduceus is rigorous, uncommon, and essential. Its sonic rewards are matched only by the chance to grapple with the personality behind it, which is as mercurial as the title suggests."


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Akira Rabelais - Caduceus

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