nacht und nebel the bright sleep

Tue 24th April 2012


/incoming/nachtund.jpgI'm listening to this in the darkness, it's 20:49. I've driven over five hours today, back from Wales, from the very westerly Isle of Anglesey. My brain feels like it is now stationed in a jar of regenerative nutrient broth.

In this dim light nacht und nebel carve out the sounds my brain feels like it should be making. Cello sounds manipulated through effects pedals, the scrape and hiss and thrum of distorted strings. Yes, like high-tension electrical cable running deep in some underground recess, shaking with the very power it transmits. That's what my brain feels like, and the opener 'wyrm' is that cable snapping and singing in my head.

Soon I'll pass out. But 'there is a great void', and the cable snaps again and again on this second track, cracking sounds like sheet metal being shelled. Like misfiring synapses. If I close my eyes the sound charges neon lattice explosions across my vision. The shelling subsides, replaced by distant white noise hiss and some crackling twitching fuzz, like a radio in Silent Hill. Then the shelling returns, and over it some screeching abomination and the wail of feedback. I can feel my mind exiting the back of my head and floating three feet above and behind. A moth dances over the screen here in the dark. My hands are numb as the sound of the void rolls around in my skull and reaches a crescendo of roaring feedback before dying into silence. The shelling grows distant, filtered into bass frequencies and digital distortion, rumbling like a broken train until only a murmuring tone is left. Is it time to sleep yet?

No, 'saprophyte' pulls itself from the silence in a persistent rhythm, hypnotic on off pace and the growling noises rise out of the id, time out of joint, black shapes with eyes in the reptilian hind-brain. A long gutteral squall bursts over the middle, feels like night heat melting everything down to scrap, the mercury-plating on my tired eyes running off into pools of quicksilver in the nape of my neck. The rest of my head, and my body, follow my mind. I am suspended over my keyboard in the dark by invisible wires as the sounds fade again into an uneasy simulacrum of silence, tape hiss ever present, dull echoes of hit strings skittering. Sleep?

No, things 'not of this earth trouble' me yet. Bassy warbling, and something like a mechanical rattlesnake shifting behind it, getting nearer, then further away. I think I'd quite like to start hallucinating soon. Gravity is an afterthought, I am suspended in an inky nothing. Sensory deprivation, bar this damnable screen's phosophorent white. Roaring digital tulpas writhe in my speakers, I can feel them trying to break the cones, tear their way free. Suddenly it's over, silence drops as the things leave. I collapse out of the air. The bright sleep? I reach for the lamp switch. Perhaps the title refers to sleeping with the lights on after listening? That was monstrous, and beautiful. Droning weirdness throwing you from your body.

Play it in the dark from here and lie in the light afterwards.


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    •  mikemike
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