THE AMENTA's Album "n0n" in deren eigenen Worten
|Ein Artikel von Krümel vom 11.11.2008 (5116 mal gelesen)|
The Amenta Song Break Downs|
'On', the albums intro, was created to simulate the media deluge which is a part of modern life. It opens with the sound of electronics turning on. Samples of radios and televisions are cut together to create a disorientating effect. Samples are repeatedly interrupted by electronic noise.
We live in a world where media is omnipresent. Every home has a television that is blaring out opinions and 'truth' over 5 hours a day. The noise is so loud that people can no longer think for themselves.
'On', thematically leads into 'Junky'. 'Junky' deals with humanities addiction to television, radio and internet. Most people's opinions are formed by the messages that are spat at them from one of these sources of media. People no longer think for themselves. They allow there minds to relax and seize the idea that gets yelled the loudest.
This song also posits the idea that a human psyche is formed by the stimuli to which it is exposed. In the past, the human psyche was formed by parental, peer and educational guidance. What happens to a psyche when it is exposed to television? When a simple click of a remote control can juxtapose the image of a catwalk model with a triple homicide? When a news report about the decimation of New Orleans is interrupted by an advertisement about washing powder? What kind of psyche is formed then?
Musically this song is meant to represent the cut up nature of media with a remote control. Riffs are cut in and out at weird times. The song goes from blasting chaos to a more epic chorus and then to an electronic middle 8. Through out the song, samples of radio interviews with terrorists and politicians are woven together.
'Vermin' is based around the idea that people are, in their natural state, very primitive animals. What sets us apart from apes is our ability to think beyond our primal urges. But if you look around at how people interact, they are slaves to their primal urges. Fuck, fight and flee. People do not act, they react. Just like animals. Very few people take the time to think beyond these base urges. People who think beyond base urges deserve the title human. People who do not are just animals with money.
One of the shorter songs on the album, 'Vermin' is a musical punch in the face. The message is simple and it's directed at simple people, so the arrangement is our most concise to allow for maximum impact.
This song is about melodrama and the 'myspace' culture. The two worst attributes of modern man are their exhibitionism and their voyeurism. Everyday people post private information on their myspace or facebook site, and people suck it up. Minor personal issues get blown up to soap opera proportions. It's fucking sickening. Do you think I care?
This track was based around an experiment in sound design; percussion sounds where shaped from simple sign waves and distortion fed in at random places to create a churning mess. This is an electronic punk song. A hate anthem.
Religion is no longer the enemy to which you should all be directing your hate. To do so is to think primitively. It has been a long time since religion was any sort of threat in the western world.
The new threat is the politics behind religion. Left or right, all western politics are based on binary principles. Black or white, ignoring any possible greys. This is the new dogma. It is much stronger than the old model because it has MONEY.
Written during elections, both local and international, "Slave" is the result of seeing countless mindless drones shouting slogans, fighting in the streets or crying at rallies for a politician whose ideals remain murky and inadequately expressed.
In a binary world, there can only be one of two sides. This is the situation in which we find ourselves. There is no way that either of these two sides can adequately express a thoughtful person's true feelings on an issue. What we are dealing with here is mass compromise. What we see is people finding the same passion in something they do not understand as a primitive person feels for their god or idol.
Primitive people feel an urge to have their ego obliterated by a greater power, something which they do not understand but which gives them a feeling of connecting. In medieval times this was religion. In modern times this is 'democracy'.
Ask yourself: Do you understand what you are putting your name to? Have you formed your own opinions? Do you understand the ramifications?
Pick the guest vocalist in the outro.
'Whore' is indictment of human fear, specifically the fear of the unknown. Many people, talented, intelligent people, allow themselves to stagnate for fear of getting out of their comfort zone. The comfort of a nine to five job, as soul crushing as it might be, is preferred to following a dream whose outcome is uncertain.
These people are victims of their own fear; they could have been something but now they are nothing. The knowledge that they have sold themselves short turns these once shining stars into cynical, self loathing, rats.
This song is one of the more complex arrangements; shards of white noise and radio chatter are used to evoke an agitated feeling. Electronic drums and acoustic drums constantly play counter rhythms to each other, a metaphor for the internal struggle of the wage whore. Jason Mendonca's (Akercocke) dry and sardonic vocals spit our disgust at the world.
Based around a line from Burroughs, "No Stalins, no Hitlers". Most political systems, and certainly "democracy", give the illusion of power to individuals however the power actually lies in the structure of the system itself. No matter which party is in "power", the system won't bend to allow the "leader" to take control.
Gone are the days of one man seizing control of a country and bending it to his will for better or for worse. There are no spines in political systems, bending it this way and that to achieve aims. There is only a rigid shell of rules and procedure that prevents any major change. The world will stagnate politically until either a revolution (in which case the whole process will slowly start again) or the system becomes so ingrained that the illusion of democracy, voting, will be unnecessary.
This is the first track from THE AMENTA use clean signing courtesy of Nathan Wyner (A Secret Death), coupled with the dub percussion this becomes one of the most unique songs THE AMENTA have recorded.
Featuring guest vocals by Alice Daquet (Sir Alice), 'Skin' is guaranteed to polarise The Amenta audience. Built up initially from a loop created with a fucked guitar lead, it eventually took the form of a downbeat dub instrumental. Heavily reverbed guitars chime over big percussive delays creating a hypnotic drone.
This is also The Amenta's first experiment with a narrative. The lyrics for 'Skin' are based around an altercation we witnessed between a prostitute and a well dressed man in the streets of Kings Cross, Sydney's seedy red light district.
All of the themes of all the other songs are tied together in this narrative which uses prostitution (in all its forms) as a metaphor for modern life.
'Dirt' is about the moment when you realise that you can't change the world no matter how fucked it is. It is both a sobering and liberating feeling to realise that you are powerless. It leaves you three options. You can give up and allow yourself to sink gentle into the stagnant pool of life, you can give up and kill yourself or you can keep fighting knowing that you can't win.
THE AMENTA chose the last one. We know the world is shit. We do not agree with how the world is run. We know we can not change the world but we know we don't want to be a part of it.
'Dirt' accuses everyone who gives up of failing. If you keep trying you can never fail.
Featuring a jaw dropping performance from Ruin's Alex Pope in the verses and backing up in the choruses, Dirt is, at first glance, an epic slow number. But don't let the intro fool you, Dirt has some of our most complex changes and programming. This was the last song written for 'n0n' and the light at the end of the tunnel is reflected in its huge chord changes.
Another experiment in programming sounds from scratch, 'Atrophy' also features a sample accidentally obtained from a circuit bent radio. The sample, used many times in the album in both obvious and subliminal ways, features an Iraqi Nationalist (as opposed to a Muslim Extremist) discussing the use of terror tactics in defence. An English reporter keeps trying to pull other sympathies from him. The topical nature of the sample and the randomness of its capture inspired the crawling dread of the music.
Six instrumentals where written for the album. This sample appeared in three. One of the instrumentals, if it every gets released, will show the sample completely unobscured.
'Cancer' was the first song written for the album. What began as an exercise in creating atmospheric sounds with guitar quickly morphed into the most complex song structure on the album. 'Cancer' shows THE AMENTA shaking off the dust of "Occasus" and trying out new directions. There are a lot of ideas stumbled upon in this song which would be explored in greater depth in other writing sessions. Electronic percussion, metallic music concrete and sample cut-ups were used to illustrate lyrics about the stagnancy of modern art.
Art has become subsumed by the idea of post modernism. Which means, at best, unoriginal art, or at worst, fucking IRONY.
Extreme music is not free from this disease. In fact it provides the perfect microcosm. Bands do not push the envelope. They would prefer to release albums that sound like a sum of their influences. Bands who listen to In Flames sound like In Flames, bands who listen to Darkthrone sound like Darkthrone. Very few bands are releasing important music any more. No one is trying to express themselves, rather they are paying tribute to other bands. This sycophantic adulation is anathema to progression. It is not extreme to repeat an idea. It is extreme to generate new ideas that force people to think.
The cancer of the title is those sycophants who latch on to genres and styles like a tumour and start sucking the life from it.
'Rape' is a final wake up call. The lyrics to Rape sum up all the themes of the album and present an option to the listener; they can either allow themselves to wallow in mediocrity like an animal or they can fight the controlling influence of binary thought and become human.
'Rape' is split, musically, into two halves, representing the two sides of a binary equation. They are joined by a long guitar and synth drone which is another new side to THE AMENTA. The two sides also show the two poles of The Amenta's music, from the ugly , metallic percussion and the blasts of distortion of the first part, to the melodic, almost symphonic noise of the end. The structure of 'Rape' mirrors the structure of the closer of the "Occasus" album, Sangre, a nod to the old as we drag it kicking and screaming into the present.