In collaboration with Flamingo Vapor, I am releasing the musical album 尤卡吉尔奇点Yukagir. The name itself means "Yukagir Singularity," a reference to the short story that it's based on and around, among other things. It's another entry into my Lovecraftian corpus of work. It's not traditional, structured music with a defined beginning and end; it's simply tableaux, a scene from a certain place at a certain time. I was really inspired by telepath and HKE, but I also took inspiration from the music of Noryokun and of Ugasanie. Let me explain the individual parts of the album to you.
The first song on the album is, if all has gone according to plan with the release, 对手 ПЛЕНИТЕЛЬНЫЙ - in English, Captivating Adversary (the original title of the song). If you've read my short story Yukagir Singularity, the concept of a largely apathetic elder god that both destroys and captivates will not be alien to you. The story of this song is that the protagonist of the album, perhaps a tribesman or a farmer from near Yukagir, catches sight of a terrible being arising from the pockmarked tundra. Oozing pus and bile, causing it to rain vomit, this creature is unmarred by the passing of time, and is simply apathetic regarding humanity. But the protagonist is not scared of it - in fact, they are captivated, falling in love with this unimaginable horror.
The song samples three works. The first one that you'll hear is Rafstraumur by Sigur Ros, a song about love in spite of violence (perhaps a bad message, but that's irrelevant). The first verse repeats and repeats, fading in and out over the course of the song. If you speak Icelandic, which I certainly don't, you may or may not understand the lyrics. Listen to the heart beat, from inside the ribcage, inside and outside. I'll let you understand the symbolism. The second song that is sampled is much similar. It was suggested to me that I use it by an Australian friend of mine, who had recently re-discovered it after a long period of depression: Lie In The Arms by Stereo Bus, though it's so reverbed and stretched that you probably can't tell what it is anymore. Luckily for me while I was making this album, Rafstraumur and Lie In The Arms are actually in the same key and share many of the same chords in their progressions. It's almost as if they were meant to be together from the beginning. I did change the key signature just to add a sense of unease. While the songs are both in E major, this track is in C.
The second song on the album is 梦 You/Vy - in English, Dream about You. I really tried to evoke the atmosphere of an actual dream here, and I think I achieved it (at least for me, I can't tell what your subjective experience is). It's about the protagonist, either before or after encountering the Adversary, having a dream about their lover, or an object of their affection. It samples Japanese elevator music, which is phased and reverbed to hell and back, and a stretched loop of ocean waves and binaural beats. There isn't actually a lot of symbolism in this track, I just think it sounds good. White noise doesn't have key signatures to match up, fortunately, so there's no additional value in that.
The third song on the album is 红茶 и 扶手椅共产主义 - in English, Earl Grey Tea and Armchair Communism. You might be thinking to yourself, 'what a strange title! Surely Jeyv-ynkev has lost their mind!' And you'd be right. But I actually have a symbolic basis for this title. Earl Grey is one of my favourite types of tea, and I am a left-communist myself. These two things make me feel exceptionally comfortable, and at the end of a long work day there is nothing better than sitting down on an armchair, holding a cup of tea and a Bordiga dissertation. The protagonist has become sedentary. Away from the action, they are sitting in their marble palace in their murex-stained armchair, preaching but not practicing. And this brings me on to why this piece is not comforting.
The songs I sampled on this track were intended to reflect the fact that the protagonist is sedentary and useless. They are Bourgeois by Kommunizm Brigade and FML by Kanye West. Both songs describe a life tainted by riches, a hypocritical and damned existence perpetuated by the elite. The piece aims to reflect this. The main character is an adventurer, yet they do not make any advance toward adventure. And this makes them, and the rest of the world, exceedingly uncomfortable. The tea gives them heartburn. The Marx gives them headaches. Even their armchair is starting to chafe their buttocks. So this track is not comforting. It's restless. Of course, you're free to add your own analysis.
The final song on the album is 我们的时间 Below - in English, Below Our Time. It's a departure from the rest of the album in that it does not directly continue the same narrative thread with the same characters. In fact, it is intended as a continuation of the narrative thread established in the second album by Spook the Horses, called Rainmaker. That album is a Western-themed romp through a doomed desert, a stark contrast to the cyberpunk romp through a doomed tundra that this album presents. Anyway, the story ends here. Below the ice, something has woken up. I don't think anything can stop it, not in our time. It's a tableau. It illustrates a single point in time.
I hope you enjoy the album.