04 January 2013

Jude Morrison - "Phantasmagoria"

As far as interesting and abstract music went in 2012, I think it was a great year. Many artists pushed and stretched my personal definition of music and made it more loving towards harsher and bolder sounds and experiments. And I have to say, I'm very disappointed I got to this LP late, because this album would have fit that criteria perfectly.

Jude Morrison is a UK drone metal/experimental musician who really slipped by me this year. He and a few other artists on his record label spent 2012 making some darn good releases that for some reason, after Jude made his excellent LP Feedback Ritual, I didn't listen to. And that makes me sad, because listening to them now, these gentlemen did a fine job. Out of the several records that they did release, however, one stood out above all the rest. Jude's LP Phantasmagoria. This album really breaks all possible rules of what is considered music by most people. With wicked and windy soundscapes/drones behind him, Jude spins haunting stories laced in a thick haze of reverb. There are only 4 tracks that go below 20 minutes, and 1 that goes to a monstrous 1 hour long. Absolutely nothing about this album is for the faint of heart. Jude's voice and stories are incredibly wicked and pretty scary. I love how on a majority of the tracks here Jude's drones evolve more and more as tracks go on. My favorite instrumentals on here go to the tracks "The Devil and Johnny Orpheus" and "The Tainted Village". "The Devil and Johnny Orpheus" has this thick Sunn O))) esque guitar drone in the back with a developing noise scape backing it to make this story much different then the others. "The Tainted Village" has a very creepy echoey synth that really gives this terrifying story an extra umph into lunacy.  This will not be an easy listen for any music lover. The 4 hours of material on here are just almost impenetrably terrifying. But, for those who make it to the other side, you will find this to be one of the best unheard gems of 2012. Give the album a listen and a free download up above. I highly recommend it, but you will come back a changed person.

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