Dave Phillips - Abgrund

LP, 2012, Second Sleep, Italy.   Available

Abgrundfronts

Abgrundbacks

artwork by Matteo Castro insert text by Bill Mckibben



REVIEWS

My speakers are about to blow. Heart-rate is irregular. I panic. I enter… The first words that appeared in mind. The pig, the child, the woman. The man behind the curtain playing in distorted motion. The observer of the downfall of values. This record is Dave Phillips’s brilliance in hidden layers, hints and almost subliminal messages. Nothing too obvious, cheaply offensive. Premature or simple. He prepares the listener for the inevitable while hinting as to why it is all happening and perhaps who is responsible. There is no clear enemy here, but if you know Dave’s standpoints and values on globalization capitalism and politics, it’s not that difficult to figure out why this record is called the “Abyss”. I was lucky enough to experience 2 days of Dave Phillips live performances without knowing much about his sound and huge input to the “experimental/noise” scene. That cold and beautiful weekend in Bristol, that all who attended till this day regard as one of the best festivals, I was blown to pieces. And amongst many discoveries at that special event was the sonic and visual experience of Dave’s performances. His work comes across as extremely personal and multi-faceted as well as sinister, slightly child-like horror story. At the same time it seems he is one of the last few who in depth questions human essence from almost Jungian point and questions political values of the masses as well as global effect it has. There is a clear question presented: “Will The Human Species Grow Out Of Its Infancy?”. The record is very strong in sound; the “abyss” is almost overwhelming. The catharsis of sound layers is a downfall of values. The greatness of the sonic activist. This record made me sick. Like a Stockholm effect - I am in Love. I felt the need to live and crawl over the fears and deadly notions of not getting out of a trap of subconscious paralysis. This record is a master of intimidation and flashbacks. If you were ever “trapped” in any sort of way you will understand exactly what I mean after giving this a long and loud listen. The boundaries of social norms and all that comes with being a part of the “system”. The natural balance and the pollution that money structures bring the world. I think that Dave is also a great storyteller, however we hate the word, still – he is a visionary. I consciously decided not to go in depth through the texts presented with the record while writing this. I just listened the LP over and over and over again. This concussion of field recordings, noise, ritualistic drones and echoes that remind of a bad psychotropic trip. Giving in to the experience of the record, I came out with words: pressure, woods just after sunset, shit piles in abandoned wooden houses. Dead animals, extinction, a man behind my back wheel, death. Wooden floor, blood, flies, sunrise, heat wave, vomit, stinks. Walking, fastly, running. Freeze frame, acknowledgment of a dead end, panic, death. Emptiness. Rot, noise, stink, darkness, branches, thick forest, branches. Dry land, rape, sweat, stink, old skin. End. LISTEN LOUD

(Sonia Dietrich, Special Interests, Issue 10, September 2014)