Born into poverty, the first 12 years of your life have been one bad break after another. Â You live in a run-down shack with your widowed mother and all your great aunts, uncles and grandparents. Â They’re all bed-ridden, diseased and on their last breaths.
On a particular overcast day, you’re walking down the street, and in the drain, you see a gleaming golden ticket of some kind. Â You pull it and BOOM…the next few weeks are blurred with tv interviews, newspaper articles and fan mail from kids around the world you want to live YOUR life. Â Why?…Because you’ve been invited to the most bad ass chocolate factory mankind has ever seen. You can eat f-ing everything in the factory.
Your once-crippled, but now mobile, crotchety old grandpa comes along for the ride and, despite the cast of spoiled brats you’re forced to hang out with on the chocolate factory tour, you’re having the time of your life. Â You forget how impoverished your family is and how you’ll probably end up sweeping chimneys for a living. Â Right now, it’s your time to shine.
Along the way, you see an incredible exhibit of magical soda pop that actually propels you to float into the air! Â Everyone wants to try it, but you’re told that it’s noooot quite ready to test. Â Your old bastard of a grandpa hangs back while the tour continues and figures “What the hey?…Let’s give this fizzy drink a taste, eh?” Â Of course you say yes. Â It’s your f-ing grandpa. Â He’s gonna die any minute, man.
Lo and behold, since this experimental brewÂ isn’t ready for the public, both of you begin floating upwards towards a giant fan covered in blood and guts of other kids who broke the rules. Â You try and burp so that the air in your body will cause you to drop down, and it WORKS, but you lose air too fast and both of you plummet down to the ground to your deaths.
A man named Slugworth vacuums up the remains of your 2 disfigured corpses into a magical liquefier. Â He chuckles. “Perfect ingredients for our new everlasting gobstoppers.”
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Wilderness of Mirrors is the new album from Lawrence English. It is two years in the making and the first album created since the release of his 2011 ode to J.A Bakerâ€™s novel, The Peregrine. It is Englishâ€™s most tectonic auditory offering to date, an unrelenting passage of colliding waves of harmony and dynamic live instrumentation.
The phrase, wilderness of mirrors, draws its root from T.S Eliotâ€™s elegant poem Gerontion. During the cold war, the phrase became associated with campaigns of miscommunication carried out by opposing state intelligence agencies. Within the context of the record, the phrase acted as a metaphor for a process of iteration that sat at the compositional core of the LP. Buried in each final piece, like an unheard whisper, is a singularity that was slowly reflected back upon itself in a flood of compositional feedback. Erasure through auditory burial.
Wilderness Of Mirrors also reflects Englishâ€™s interests in extreme dynamics and densities, something evidenced in his live performances of the past half decade. The albumâ€™s overriding aesthetic of harmonic distortion reveals his ongoing explorations into the potentials of dense sonics.
â€śDuring the course of this record,â€ť English explains, â€śI was fortunate enough to experience live performances by artists I deeply respect for their use of volume as an affecting quality, specifically Earth, Swans and My Bloody Valentine. I had the chance to experience each of these groups at various stages in the making this record and each of them reinforced my interest in emulating that inner ear and bodily sensation that extreme densities of vibration in air brings about.â€ť
The album is moreover a reflection on the current exploitation of the ideals of the wilderness of mirrors, retuned and refocused from the politics of the state, to the politics of the modern multiplex. The amorphous and entangled nature of the modern world is one where thoughtless information prevails in an environment starved of applied wisdom. Wilderness Of Mirrors is a stab at those living spectres (human and otherwise) that haunt our seemingly frail commitments to being humane.
â€śWe face constant and unsettled change,â€ť English notes, â€śIt's not merely an issue of the changes taking place around us, but the speed at which these changes are occurring. We bare witness to the retraction of a great many social conditions and contracts that have previously assisted us in being more humane than the generations that precede us. We are seeing this ideal of betterment eroded here in Australia and abroad too. This record is me yelling into what seems to be an ever-growing black abyss. I wonder if my voice will reflect off something?â€ť
Wilderness Of Mirrors is reflection upon reflection, a pure white out of absolute aurality.
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