Saturday, 11 November 2017

SACRAMENCE-CREMATIONS 2 X CS


SACRAMENCE-CREMATIONS 2XCS
Sacramence’s output has been quite varied to date, this is a project that has been released on labels as disparate as Knife Vision (a label best known for blown out BM) and Clan Destine records (a label that pumps out Mixtapes like it’s 1984 again) Despite all this, don’t think that Sacramence isn’t focused, far from it. To me this project reflects quite accurately the underground DIY ethos that exists in 2017 and due to that it will impact listeners in varying ways and with differing effects. The underground right now is a confusing, bewildering and all-consuming place, one where you can get easily disenchanted and lose your way, or even worse blindly fall in line with every single thing you are fed. Initially, I paid very little attention to Sacramence, to me they were simply yet another one-man project that may have played Deathrock/Dark-Wave/Black Metal or Post Punk, descriptions of their releases did little to sway my indifference and it wasn’t until it was cheaper to add their “Lovers Seek Dominance” tape to my Youth Attack order than it was to leave it in the store for the vultures that I started to pay attention. I then read the interview in Nokturnal Subjugation zine, this piece stood out starkly among the other bands featured in this issue, I found myself enthralled and often noticed his opinions and feelings reflecting some of my own, I realized then that I had fucked up by skipping over this project. This wasn’t some by-the-numbers vanity effort, the themes were rooted in deep thought, gnostic contemplation and astral meandering. I was intrigued.
“Cremations” is Sacremance’s latest album and will see release courtesy of the Found Remains label on December 15.  The double tape is split up with the first cassette featuring the “Cremations” Full Length while the second tape houses remixes, B-sides and live stuff. I am not usually in need of extra bits such as outtakes or extended additions, I would rather buy a cheap Death Metal album on CD than grab the die-hard gatefold remastered edition on 180gram vinyl or some shit. That being said, I like the notion of including these extra pieces here, they don’t come across as self-indulgent or unnecessary, the eccentricity of the artist sharing ideas is the theme at play here, but more on that tape shortly. 
“Cremations” starts off as one would hope, with a project such as this you are not always sure what you will be met with, I found the deep trance inducing nature of the intro to “Machtpolitik!” enough to intrigue me and ask questions of what will confront me next. The success of Sacramence here is that without you realizing it, deadened, hollow vocals are chanting hymns of broken hopes and dreams and you can’t put your finger on the exact moment they begun, it is that dream like quality that captures you and pulls you in deeper as each song progresses. “Cremations” works as a whole, as well as in individual songs and that is no small feat. There are moments of EBM sleaze coupled together with Dark-Wave woe, Sacramence’s wet, moisture soaked nights of debauchery intermingle effortlessly with pitch black mourning and loss resulting in a strangely romantic yet ultimately hopeless recording that echoes those feelings experienced in times of great flux. There is an undeniable pop sensibility across “Cremations”, and by that, I mean that at times you find yourself completely caught up in a moment, be it the refrain found in the opener that exists as a point of reference while the song seemingly degenerates into disgust before capitulating into a brief gabba styled frenzy, or the lost and distant “Coronation” that utilizes lo-fi depression in a similar way to the better tracks from the “(Strange Songs) in the Dark” album from Merchandise. This is an outsiders view of pop music, one that is derived from feeling utterly useless when hearing a song about love on the radio due to recently losing it as opposed to embracing such a moment due to an act of familiarity and relating to such events. This leads us perfectly into the highlight of “Cremations” the aptly titled “Modern Love” which opens up the B side, this claustrophobic frenzy of a track fuses together those vastly differing sounds once perfected by Tollund Men and Lust For Youth into a singular song of hopeless devotion to that which will ultimately bring about our downfall. Along the way tracks such as “Solstice” or “Crooked Police” operate on another level altogether, offering respite through moments of reflection in what is otherwise a reasonably heady mix of modern electronic mastery.
This leads us into Tape 2. Ever since Today is the Day unloaded the epic “Sadness Will Prevail” double LP I have developed the mindset that an outing of this format can and should be listened to on separate occasions. Double Tapes (or LP’s/CD’s) are too much to compartmentalize in one sitting, especially in this ADHD existence. Tape 2 doesn’t feel like an “Extras” tape thrown in for the sake of it, the tracks here, even when previously heard on the first tape, offer further insight into Sacramence’s worldview and approach going forward. I am yet to fully appreciate the Techno universe and the punk undergrounds embracing of it, but I see merit in the repetitious throbbing thrust of such dance edits existing and while I still think the actual full-length “Cremations” stands proudly on its own, I am reminded here on Tape 2 about those times spent listening to Wumpscut on the car stereo and the deep sense of disturbance I felt hurtling along a lonely highway in the dead of the night.
“Cremations” is a perfect foray into the dank underground of electronic projects. These 2 tapes showcase a burgeoning spirit and go to great efforts to traverse the vast landscape that has been laid out before its arrival. Offering a unique and individual take on this is near impossible at this stage, and while Sacramence may not have reinvented any wheels, they have certainly commandeered the vehicle and turned it down a path into the strangely disturbing and downright unnerving with this blend of crushed, romantically disintegrated electronic music. Highly Recommended.

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