So what are these prophecies we divine in the black tar of the network which is the circulatory system of the Empire, or at least was, because the Empire is less empire, or because whatever needs to be circulated today is so in binary digits instead of atoms, pulses of light instead of pulsating flesh?
Could it be a complex epic for alien archaeologists, a description of our fall akin to the murals in the city beyond the Mountains of Madness, guarded by petrochemical beasts & genetically synthesised monstrosities?
Or the Rorschach excrescence of a collective psyche that will read its children’s letters in lieu of devouring them?
Maybe a map for places of great Might where the old tribes congregated, whence the old tribes where expelled, where new cults were formed and eventually died, a prophecy of a future that is the past that is the future?
There is no clear answer to these questions, and Grails, the grim oracles, sure ain’t talking. We could speculate until the end of our times, yet reach no conclusion, such is the black tar-like mystery of these prophecies, which is also their power.
What we can do is gaze at their historical anchoring, viz. their references as compared to their content (as one would when trying to draw the boundaries of an event horizon).
When we do this we perceive some parallelisms between the psychic zone that they define – their mood – and the operation of the British hauntologists: a morbid fascination with crumbling stones, obsolete artifacts and sounds covered in a patina of ectoplasmic goo, sturdy beats acting as framework over which hover & dodge translucent pixies – or hateful revenants?
Their reference points are shifted so that they can remain sounding weirdly true; experimental electroacoustics replaced with a country twang ominous like murder ballads sang by the dead; no strange jives from TV presenters with impossible accents, but the sub-spiritual drone of a religious cult of uncertain sign. Imagine Boards of Canada ca. Music Has the Right to Children if their totem had been Morricone instead of Aphex Twin.
Shared is also the feeling of unnatural things lurking, impending doom, a lascivious interlude cuts short by blades, all of these things intertwining and mingling, like they do in the premises of a new age experiment to accelerate the advent of the cosmic child, an acid freak-out atop the horribly flat surface of a Mexican mesa, a weekend spent at the country house of an expert in Sumerian demonology.
All of these premises could be explored – for all we know, happened – in the unfathomable depths of that black tar. Which is another way of saying, that which begins in darkness ends in darkness. Whatever lies in the middle, we will let it pass with Black Tar Prophecies as its soundtrack.