Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Striborg - Embittered Darkness / Isle Des Morts

With the notion of expenditure, Georges Bataille developed the idea that human activity cannot be completely be reduced to greed, useful production and conservation of (capital) goods. On the contrary, generosity, improductive squandering also has it's place in human life and keeps that life vital. As reckless waste, as ruinous gift-giving Georges Bataille mentions luxury, war, games, spectacles, sacrifice, art, death and eroticism. Goal-oriented rationality and expenditure are opposites: "An unproductive expenditure is nonsense, or even counter-sense".

Striborg's extremely strange Black Metal obliviously wastes high-end audio equipment, it squanders the aural quality of expensive cd-players, amplifiers and loudspeakers, it ruins their hi-fidelity, it ruins them, it ruins them: Striborg's music is audiophile expenditure.

Accuracy, warmth, tonal color, speed, timbre, size of sound stage, depth, clarity, pace, timing - on other words, all qualitative attributes of high end audio - are utterly squandered when such equipment is used for Striborg's music, which is fuzzed out, cold, hollow-sounding, thin, raw, completely blown out and in the red... The production of Striborgs cd 'Embittered Darkness / Isle Des Morts' presents "... the splendor of rags ..." (Bataille, The Accurse Share Volume 1), and ... and... and here doubt starts, here - dear reader - I loose my sure footing. Bataille continues the words I quoted with "... the somber challenge of indifference". Black Metal can certainly present a somber challenge, but is indifference Black Metal's strategy? Can it really be that desinterest is the strategy of that hysterical genre? No, Black Metal is not ever indifferent, it somberly yet gleefully sacrifices conspicuously accumulated audiophile high end gear.

Striborg relates to well-produced music as a slaughterhouse relates to a museum... one attracts and the other repels, one is proper and clean and the other improper and unclean... Reading some reviews of the 'Embittered Darkness / Isle Des Morts' and ' Nefaria' cds one is struck by the fact that even die-hard Black Metal fans are disgusted by the ugliness of Striborg's production, perhaps feeling it goes a little too far...

The last words of this post focus on Striborg's vocals. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" - and Satan is to God what Striborg's vocals are to the Word: a mockery. "Sin-Nanna growls and gurgles his obtuse black ravings in an impossibly creepy animalistic voice, somewhere between a rabid dog, a tiny demon, and a wicked old witch" (Aquarius Records) ... a list of voice-types to which a toad and Donald Duck with a sore throat might be added. Striborg's vocals mock, Striborg mocks. One cannot remain indifferent.

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