Complex times breed complex albums.
A sign of the times, maybe.
Not unlike Matthew Colling’s album mentioned before, Lawrence English‘s new album “The Wilderness of Mirrors“ presents a “tectonic auditory offering, an unrelenting passage of colliding waves of harmony and dynamic live instrumentation”.
During the cold war, the phrase “Wilderness of Mirrors” became associated with campaigns of miscommunication carried out by opposing state intelligence agencies. Translated sonically to this album, there’s a ‘singularity’ buried somewhere in the end of each track, but it can hardly be heard: like the truth in the cold war, it is “erased through auditory burial”.
Clearly, this is not an optimistic album.
“The amorphous and entangled nature of the modern world is one where thoughtless information prevails in an environment starved of applied wisdom.”
“We face constant and unsettled change. It’s not merely an issue of the changes taking place around us, but the speed at which these changes are occurring. We bare witness to the retraction of a great many social conditions and contracts that have previously assisted us in being more humane than the generations that precede us.”
“This record is me yelling into what seems to be an ever-growing black abyss.”
For the inescapable, massive, saturated sound on some (but not all!) of the eight tracks on “The Wilderness of Mirrors“ (presented in two uninterrupted parts), Lawrence English found his inspiration in bands that use sound as a physical force, such as SWANS, Earth and My Bloody Valentine. Which of course means: PLAY LOUD!
But be sure to keep your ears open for the softer subtleties that are present, too. Keep searching for the ‘buried singulaties’, because they are not fully erased … they’re only hidden somewhere below the surface.
LAWRENCE ENGLISH – GRACELESS HUNTER