There are some things that are unlistenable, unreadable, unwatchable. Not because of their quality or because of their intrinsic horror. They are shunned in my mind because dealing with their extrinsic horror is too much.
The first record I experienced this with was ANOHNI’s Hopelessness. An exceptional album that deals so directly with such world annihilating-ly pressing concepts, that to listen is to continually rip the scab from your own first experience of them. The totalitarian nightmare of the surveillance state; the (now fully underway) existential catastrophe of Climate Change; the death of the pseudo-liberal world order one drone strike at a time.
It’s a great record and I’m glad she made it but I just…can’t. Not while we keep losing.
Colin Self’s new album on RVNG is called Siblings. It draws its inspiration from Donna J. Haraway’s writing. Indeed one track is named directly after her (perfectly titled) book: Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. A book that deals directly with our effect on the living systems of earth and posits a fundamental change of relationship. It also (apparently*) rails against ‘bitter ‘game over’ pseudo-wisdom’. Which is something I think we should all get behind.
Today’s track isn’t that though (which is a fucking massive three minute Techno banger) but a track from earlier in the album, Foresight.
It has that clarity, that sincerity that Lynch so often appropriates and places next to seemingly innocuous images to create something eerie and strange. Precisely because sincerity is so strange. At one moment it’s This Mortal Coil, at another the vocal chanting is straight from Geinoh Yamashirogumi’s Akira score.
Siblings is an exceptional record and maybe it too will become unlistenable or maybe, in time, I’ll realise the game isn’t over.
Siblings is out today on RVNG. Get it here.
* I swear I’ll read more than the Amazon blurb after writing this post.