Somnambule - Writing About Music

Beyond Sensory Experience ~ Korrelations

Korrelations presents interpretations by fellow travellers of Beyond Sensory Experience’s 2004 trilogy (Tortuna, Urmula and Ratan), as well as alternate takes by the Swedish dark ambient duo themselves. The image projected by practitioners of this sort of music can appear fairly ridiculous to outsiders. However, the group’s appropriation of surgical and military diagrams and subsequent labelling with mysterious Latinate references proves to be a cut above the generic norm. The Two-Trace Problem interpreted by Alexxx compacts a sonic cross-section of furnace roar into roiling, sedimentary movement. Doshakal’s version of Urmula is ushered in by pitch-shifted wraiths that billow langorously over sonorous gutter soundings, while the impressive thud of the felt-muffled piledriver that impels Inside Erasmus’s Bed forward may prompt nervous glances at the door. Arbogast sounds distinctly like an alternate take of The White Noise's The Black Mass. Korrelations ends on a high note with Alko’s deliciously noisy applying a buzz saw to the listener's cranium and taking an impressive nine minutes to cut through the cerebral cortex and cerebellum before finally severing the spinal cord. With the notable exception of Inside Erasmus’s Bed, the occasional beats are generally the weakest element of the proceedings, the lowering atmospheres and resonant samples the strongest. There’s something about the music’s gloom that’s strangely comforting, perhaps it’s the knowledge that immersion in it need only be temporary.

The group’s homepage is girded by an adbar whose links lead to a Swedish lifestyle magazine, replete with the usual pictures of Hollywood stars, royalty and so on. The proximity of such banality to the group’s hermetic references to the science of myth, medieval illustrations and apocalyptic messages is somehow strangely appropriate. Whether the contrast is deliberate or the result of impecuniousness is one to ponder, but their juxtaposition emphasises the potential remedial power of Beyond Sensory Experience’s work.
Colin Buttimer
January 2005
Published by The Wire