Here’s a release from 1985 that’s so far out in left-field that it has pretty much left the ballpark. Combining industrial noise with minimal electronics, mantra-like chants and primal screams, utterly unrefined singing and creepy tape loops - all of which come together in the most barebones of musical structures - this record is less a collection of “songs” than an amateurly sinister (or sinisterly amateur?) foray into avant garde atmospherics.
Many of the tracks here are little more than synth lines over which male or female vocals sing, talk, shriek, or all of the above. Some sound a bit ridiculous and cross the terrain into simple pretension, but there are some tracks that are both stark and beautiful. “No Words” is about two or three notes played on the low end of a synthesizer, with the female vocalist slowly reciting poetic lyrics. “The Message” is the closest this record comes to an actual song, with thudding sparse industrial percussion, hints of an ominous rhythm in the background, and male vocals repeating the words “roll back… and die”. “Blood Run” is nothing more than white noise and chimes, as a cacophonic chorus of ghosts tunes their vocals.
The title track is particularly odd and interesting, awash in sampled noise and echoing laughter, child’s-toy instruments, and vocals that vaguely recall traditional British folk music. It’s a pretty strange and slightly creepy track. It kind of sounds like those brief 5-10 seconds of hushed music played at the end of horror movie trailers. You know those trailers that begin with a narrator whose vocal tone implies profundity, but whose words are cliché, bordering on inane? They start with “In a world… where there is no line… between life and death”, and then there’s a minute of action and suspense scenes. Then the trailer cuts the sound to a minimum, and a quiet, spooky song (a song quite similar to the title track on this record) is the only sound in the theater, played at a low volume to build suspense, as the camera zooms in on a lone figure in an austere room illuminated by a moonlit window, and maybe the eerie music is accompanied by vocals of a little girl with a British accent, whose otherwise innocent and sweet singing sounds vaguely evil as the shadows of dying trees dance in the moonlight, playing across the mystery figure’s visibly trembling silhouette, and the camera moves slowly but steadily closer to them, and you wonder if the figure is perhaps the singing girl, or a monster, or a figment of someone’s imagination and then the figure slowly turns, and they're revealed to be a girl in her late teens, her vacant sheet-white face glowing a ghostly blue in the moonlight and the vocals fade and all music fades aside from a lone suspenseful shimmering note and then out of nowhere BAM!!!!! a sparkling vampire grabs the figure you realize it’s a trailer for a new Twilight movie. Goddamn it.
Listen to the mLP here.