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music review:: atrium carceri:: kapnobatai

you could probably make a fairly convincing argument that the world doesn't really need atrium carceri. after all, their label, sweden's cold meat industry, started off the "death industrial" thing almost twenty years ago by marrying the aesthetics of extreme metal with the sonic influence of early laibach. despite the label's subsequent shifts in focus, many of their seminal releases are still available, so it's questionable whether a sort of throwback to the classic cmi sound could be called a necessity.

but need is a strong word. after all, i don't need ice cream, nice wine, mac computers or john fluevog shoes, but i still enjoy them.

kapnobatai, the third album from atrium carceri, shows its influences loud and proud. above all, the one which stands out to me is the more atonal work by raison d'etre, with elements of sirkle zero-era sleep chamber and grand guignol-period schloss tegal also evident. the ease with which i can link this album to other bands is a sure marker that the sound is not entirely original, which it certainly isn't. but it is a very well-crafted example of this type of music. to dismiss this release, or any release, on the grounds that it is not original is to fall into a sort of hipster snobbery.

the churning electronics do create the claustrophbic atmosphere for which he is aiming. the sinuous rhythms and (mercifully) restrained samples enhance the murk. it has enough depth to be involving, mysterious, attractive. in fact, my only quibble is with the front cover art and the liner text- much too far towards the death metal end of the spectrum- which damage the release's credibility.

centuries from now, this won't be held up as a pinnacle of western civilisation, but for the time being, it's a fine release, worthy of enjoyment. it'll remind you at once of how enjoyable cmi releases were when they were at their prime and why you liked that sound so much in the first place.


DJ Tobias said…
...I like my hipster snobbery, thank you very much.
flora_mundi said…
you may be too cool to read this blog
DJ Tobias said…
no, not even remotely cool enough.

as long as you're here, why not read more?


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

mental health mondays :: where even the depressed ones are happy

this past week saw the publication of the annual world happiness report, a look at nations around the world and how people in each of them feel about their lot in life. i started following this a few years ago, and this year it occurred to me that it would be fun to look at how the happy places compared to the crazy places. i mean, what if those countries aren't really all that happy, but just have an extremely high rate of psychotic/ delusional disorders?

so, i set to work putting together a comparison. as it happens, that's a bit trickier than it sounds, because information on any kind of disability is more difficult to come by than you might think. and no type of disability is more controversial than a mental illness, which means that there are even more complications around definitions, seeking treatment, prognoses, record-keeping... it's hard to tell how reliable anything you're looking at is. [not that there aren't some good sources.]

and what sources there …

making faces :: soft touch

ah winter, how my lips hate you. it's too bad, really, because the rest of me likes winter, down to about -12 or so. but there's no arguing that i get dried out. nuxe rĂªve de miel is my super best friend at this time of year, even more so than otherwise. [i gave bite's agave lip mask a try only to find out i'm allergic to something in it.] but our [still] new apartment is somewhat drier than the old one [electric vs hot water heating], which meant that, for a long stretch, virtually every kind of lipstick was uncomfortable. the horror. [i wrote a post a while back about the formulas that are friendliest to chapped lips.]

faced with this dilemma, i decided to try something not exactly new, but [for me], out of the ordinary: being a gloss girl. now, i don't mind glosses. i buy them from time to time, and i used to buy more until i discovered that i just wasn't using them near enough to justify the continued purchases. my issues with glosses are that they feather…