AMALGAMATED “Solvé et Coagula” C60 (Aubjects)

“The world is ending!”

How many times have you heard that, in your life? In the last year? Today? Doesn’t matter. You don’t have to listen to anyone saying that anymore, because there’s only one collective voice saying that who matters, and they’re spot the frick on. That’s right gang, your old pals Amalgamated are back with sixty minutes of viciously dour power electronics, shining the ugly mirror of our own human existence back at us and rubbing our diseased faces in the horrific reflection therein. Got hopelessness? Check. Anxiety? Check. These feelings are presented in vast, bleak postindustrial landscapes, punctuated throughout with all manner of synth stabs and ebbs and flows and embellishments, and the combined result is a monolithic head rush of impossibility. It’s like the aural equivalent of the MK Ultra experiments, but with your ears pried open instead of your eyes.

Here’s the deal, though – the point is that Amalgamated does “not [accept these things] as inevitable or irreversible.” Somehow, in the gunk and grime, there’s, dare I say, hope that we as human being can reverse this shitty course on which we’ve placed ourselves. It’s going to take a lot of work – Amalgamated thinks it’s going to be quite a dirty process, I think – but even the darkest clouds can clear, if I can get all Hallmark-y on you. But who wants that – you want the synth! You want the danger, the darkness, the meat, the gristle, the rush! You got it, mate – please for the love of god listen to this.

The Latin term “solvé et coagula” is associated with Philippus Aureolus Paracelsus, a “Swiss German Renaissance physician” whose main goal was to study alchemy in order to find medicinal benefits.  He believed that “sickness and health in the body relied on the harmony of man the microcosm and Nature the macrocosm. “ Anyway, the idea is to “[analyze] a substance into its components before synthesizing the desirable elements into a new substance.” Also, it seems that the term has deep occult connotations. Who knew?

So that’s what Amalgamated’s done here – their intent is to tease out what little good is left in humanity and hang their hats on it, hoping against hope that it can overcome the other, worse stuff. I hope it can. In the meantime, we can all experience the universal struggle by listening to Solvé et Coagula, and figuring out what we can do to stop the encroaching darkness of our own selves. The world may not even end, if we can fix it. And hey, look how much I learned along the way, even if it was through Wikipedia and a black magic website!

--Ryan Masteller