Wednesday, May 30, 2007

MEDROXY PROGESTERONE ACETATE "Supplications" (Black Horizons)

Popping a 78 minute epic such as this into a stereo takes a dedicated listener. Make no mistake: this is an Album (note the capitalization). Like many good collections which range over the hour mark, "Supplications" tends to drag on if the listener is not ready to commit the time. Fortunately, the immense work put into this project shows, and even if some of the material could benefit from minor edits a dedicated pair of ears will recognize worth in this painstakingly constructed fabric of weird machinery. "Supplications" is made up of a seven-part stream of high-pitched synthesizer tones, bubbling incantations of bent electronics and buried vocals, all of which are subject to shifting in and out of focus or mutating from sublime static tar into sinister chemical-addled oblivion. In a strange way this could be a darker, more abrasive and arrhythmic version of what Schematic was releasing in the late 90s and early 00s, specifically Richard Devine's work maybe? Could be way off, but considering this material was originally recorded between 2001 and 2003 (originally released in 2004 as an edition of 5 copies-?!?) that's the closest reference point I could think of. Every composition offers something different, and there are more elements present than one could detect in a single listen. The magnitude of the project and the tonal and textural differences between tracks make it near impossible to sum up this entire thing without breaking down the whole of "Supplications" track by track, which I will leave to future generations. What really seals the deal is the incredible packaging job, as has already become the norm with Black Horizons over the course of just 7 albums. Wrapped in heavy, dark shimmering paper and including an insert with black print on silver paper and text screened onto the cassette, this release could not ask for more proper attire. (Edition of 56 / http://www.black-horizons.com)