Saturday, December 08, 2007

Dead Raven Choir - My Firstborn Will Surely Be Blind

In an interesting post about Burial's excellent "Untrue" album on the "An Idiot's Guide To Dreaming" blog, Loki writes: "A bad mp3 rip might even enhance the spaciousness because Burial seems to be about holes, about absence. A few seconds of silence as an i-pod struggles and whirrs seems to me apt for this album and I'm sure I'm hearing more gaps than there are".

Interesting: where Loki finds a bad mp3 rip the most desirable way to listen to Burial's new album (a wide-screen, even panoramic album with a huge depth), I prefer to listen to Dead Raven Choir's new cover album of blackened and corroded folk songs "My Firstborn Will Surely Be Blind" on state-of-the-art speakers and audio equipment - even though it flaunts it's "total disregard for all conventions of audio fidelity". In fact, it is proudly announced that the album was "recorded in Poland on cheap and archaic Soviet Bloc technology".

That the Soviet Bloc (I almost wrote: Soviet Blog) origin of the recording technology is underlined, connects the album to Black Metal culture hero Euronymous' admiration for repressive communist dictatorships: "Poland was quite all right, but it could have been even MORE grey and depressing. I like secret police, cold war and worshipping of dictators. I like bugging and spying on people, torture chambers in police stations and that people suddenly “disappear”." It seems the grey and depressing, crude and brutal nature of these dictatorships corresponds to the sound Dead Raven Choir strives for. Certainly, the sombre black and white photographs of the grinding poverty of farmers and workers in the first half of the 20th century which form the album's artwork, answer to that grey and depressing aesthetic.

But what explains the inverted formal relationship between Burial and Dead Raven Choir - great recording played on crappy technology vs. a piss-poor recording played on great technology? Why do I put on my audiophile headphones when listening to Dead Raven Choir's distorted Black Metal Folk songs to hear every nuance of that crude, grey sound?

Is the difference that where Burial's music is about holes and absence, Dead Raven Choir's music embodies holes and absence?



Post scriptum

What's with the Gothic associations that Burial's album evokes? The album reminds Loki of Cranes and the Comte de Lautréamont's "Les Chants De Maldoror", while Transpontine hears Bauhaus in Archangel!

6 comments:

Cheeto said...

valter, obviously you are a newcomer to our site, because we do give credit to our reviewers. If your's was missed, it's because the source where we got it from wasen't listed. I've never seen your site before, I got this review from the original uploader, who is listed after the link. We apoligize, however. And, thanks for putting your link in the comments.
---+ Cheeto +--- http://sludgeswamp.blogspot.com

valter said...

Thanks, Cheeto; love the fur!

Cheeto said...

:) Great site, by the way. You have very informative reviews. Cheers!

fishskull said...

I can hear a little "Terror Couple Kill Colonel" in Burial...

Loki said...

cheers for the mention.... now that they mention it, there is a little bauhaus buried deep (the art movt/architecture as well as the band...)

valter said...

Obviously one could also hear a little "She's In Parties" in Burial - it's Bauhaus' most dubby song, after all.