Tuesday, 19 January 2016

It's A Brown Death Seance

I have revamped my record player - finally - and have broken it in with back to back John Carpenter - his Sacred Bones-released Lost Themes of last year, and his score for They Live, a clear-vinyl reissue put out by Death Waltz Records, one of my favourite labels. I don't own many of their records, because they are expensive, but it is the attention to detail in their tactile end products that make such prices more than reasonable. They have been stepping out of the horror score to do more contemporaneous works of late, such as the Blanck Mass' curated reimagining of the score to The Strange Color Of Your Body's Tears. I'm excited to see that another of their efforts is from an Aussie source - Miles Brown (The Night Terrors)'s debut solo album, Seance Fiction.

It is co-released by Australia's it Records. Brown's signature Theremin is still front and centre, as you would expect, but the songs here are more focused on scrolling through experimental synth badlands in all their garish, Gothic or gauche glories. Opener 'Space Cadet' is the best primer of this - starting like a crackling VHS score for the imagined early 70s precursor to Hardware, it morphs into a early-console dancefloor marauder. 'Electrics' sees Brown's vocals come to the fore, and with lyrics like "it’s just a case of unexpected electricity" the unpredictability of lightness continues. We see touchstones more mainstream than you might expect, with the likes of Depeche Mode and Ultravox colouring the edges. Don't worry, the dark flourishes that have always informed Brown's work is at play elsewhere. Closer 'Feeder' takes a more ruminative march into the netherworld. But Seance Fiction is Brown having "fun" in this synthmorphic realm. You can grab this album in ectoplasmic green !) here.

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