This post, written in English and dealing with musical issues might come as a surprise. The truth is that in this humble review of Downliners Sekt new EP “Meet the decline” (Disboot, 2011) I intend to not only talk about music but also about creation in the new technological-cultural scenario and the very pursue of beauty within the field of art.
Writing about Downliners Sekt implies a challenge. The challenge is to listen to the music, feel it in your body and ,make an effort to avoid tagging it within genres, artists or any form of tradition. This is a loyal review: the members of the sekt are very reluctant to deliver any information about their places of origin and influencies. This is a hearty review: I support with great admiration those committed artist who will never give up in the pursue of beauty even when the system and the industries push you as hard as possible to become a canned-easy-bite or starve in isolation.
“Meet the decline” (2011) comes as the end of a trilogy that started with “Hello lonely, hold the nation” (2010) followed by “We make hits not the public” (2010). Both albums appeared in the scene of electronic music, at least in my intimate experience within the field, as a very expected breath of fresh air. Downliners sekt work can be downloaded for free from the band´s website. Years of superlative artistic creation are available on the Internet as part of the public domain under creative commons licence. Donating after downloading should be our biggest statement in support of free culture.
Tickets to the afterworld: download here. The four tracks contained in the new EP could be felt as a journey in a post-apocalyptic scenario where the organic and the technological have given rise to intriguing entities and incomprehensible phenomena. The sonic landscape is haunting and mesmerizing, inhabited by a strange form of nostalgic utopia. The distorted vocals make a ghostly appearance…as if they didn´t want to be rescued from the limbo they experience. Listening to “Meet the decline” one cannot avoid feeling a weird form of disturbing tranquility, an oxymoron, like a white swan floating in the depths of a precipice.
The echoed guitars and broken beats compose a symphony of the unexpected, a delicate balance between harmony and chaos. Trying to understand the references in these tracks becomes almost an imposible task as all your cognitive capacities are overwhelmed by the strong emotional arousal that the music provokes. A female voice repeats “noise in the woods…all I can hear now” and the feeling of being lost is as tangible as the strings of those guitars that won´t stop hypnotizing you. “Rising saudade” rescues the climax of a sunday evening, some sort of masochistic joy in the bittersweet intimacy of nostalgia: pure blues. “Locked faces“, deepens the sentient panorama and the subtle vocals of Sonic Monk coming from somewhere else outside the diegesis, bring great originality to an environment mainly dominated by female tones. The strings make a statement in “Hockey nights in Canada” where the noise of a CBC broadcast somehow evokes memory, even if you have never been to Canada nor to a hockey game. The track feels like a fading memory, a distorted remembrance of moments of extreme action and joy subtly taken away by the forces of echoes that fade out, fade out, and suffer a smash cut before they manage to disappear: disturbing.
As 2011 experiences natural, political and cultural turbulence, “Meet the decline” becomes an intimate revealing journey through a form of world that needs to collapse to meet its final utopia. A poetic manifesto about a dysfunctional system of things that has reached its final stage. Art.
+ Here an excellent review of the album