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Music

Golem Mecanique: Nona, Decima et Morte (LP, Ideologic Organ, March 2020)

Stephen O’Malley (of Sunn O))) fame, and boss of the Ideologic Organ label) tells a cool story about his first meeting with Karen Jebane (aka Golem Mecanique) at an exclusive-sounding French festival where “some mad acoustician geniuses have built massive concrete amplified horns into the hillside to project sound against the cliff, activating the landscape’s natural resonance and delay patterns”. It sounds amazing. The rest of us mortals have to satisfy ourselves with this chunk of vinyl. Handily, this sounds amazing, too.

Jebane kind of half sings and half chants, and plays an organ and something called a “drone box”. I’m guessing that the latter is the same thing as she plays in this video of her and Clara de Asís, and it appears to be some kind of home-made hurdy-gurdy. There’s a special appearance by Marion Cousin on vocals and harmonium. So, yes, we’re firmly in the land of the epically elongated, where the pacing is glacial, the mood is ominous, and the resonance is supreme.

Each side is a single piece, each just under twenty minutes. Face A is heavy on the hurdy-gurdy and, well, generally just heavy; Face B is rather more ethereal, at least for the first half. The title refers to the Parcae, the Fates in Roman mythology. (You may, like me, be more familiar with Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, their Greek counterparts.) They lyrics are full of stuff like “The dark has come / We should be quiet / Mankind forgot / The Gods we are”, and the sleeve has a quotation from William Blake. If this all sounds a bit much, then maybe this record isn’t for you.

But for those who like such rich fare, I heartily endorse diving into this and getting good and lost. Well, getting lost, anyway.

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it Dark Ambient / Drone / Metal and Folk / Roots.

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