Breathtaking bad dream of a second album by Teresa Winter for The Death of Rave; a uniquely allegorical study in female sexuality and occult, transgressive fascinations that comes highly recommended if youre into Cosey Fanni Tutti, Coil, Jani Christou or Jean Rollin.
Unfolding around recollections of a bad dream about being murdered by her boyfriend and hidden under a hotel bed, Teresa’s new side expands upon the morbid, psycho-sexual and occult fascinations of her cultishly acclaimed ‘Untitled Death’ LP in a singular and unpredictable style of composition where avant-classical, acid-house and ambient dream-pop collapse in a confounding and traumatic account of her hauntological reality.
Recorded in Northern England amid the socio-political tumult of 2018, ‘What The Night Is For’ is concerned with notions of liberation and repression, both sexual, psychic and political, which feel ever more impending in the nocturnal, criminal state of mind conjured by capitalism’s end times. Teresa’s music reflects this sensation of heightened alertness and near-psychedelic intensity with an abstract dramatic narrative implicitly referencing on the one hand, the convention-challenging feminism of Jean Rollin’s cinema fantastique and its soundtracks, and the charged atmospheres of Coil, as well as the sexually liberated writings of Amanda Carter and the Marquis De Sade.
In its unfairly weighted formation, the LP vertiginously drops into freefall with 7 minute of ‘marishly captivating dissonance in ‘Canticles of Ecstasy’, landing in 9 minutes of disquietingly lush ambient electronics and Teresa intoning “bestial, brutal” on ‘Heathen’s Gate’, which marking her descent into night, proper.
The other side is an entirely different affair. From the wigged-out pipes and cinematic intrigue of ‘Vulgaire’, Teresa plays out stark contrasts between the stellar acid-pop detournement of ‘For Murder’, the palpably eerie electro-acoustic aura of ‘Apostrophising the C*nt’, and a gut-wrenching one-two of Proustian fantasy in ‘Mother of Death’, and the piloerect tristesse of ‘From so High that I Might Die’.
Like Cosey Fanni Tutti’s seminal early artwork, created in the ‘70s against a backdrop of Yorkshire-based serial killers and the adult industry, Teresa’s music can be taken as a form of psychic self-surgery, as a way of parsing her own ideas from the inherent violence of heteronormativity and the lingering, insipid pall of Roman Catholicism and all its connotations of sexual repression. And like Cosey, Teresa obliquely acknowledges the female perspective defined in the Tarot card, “Eight of Swords” - she’s damned if she does, but also damned if she doesn’t.
So f*ck it, here it is. Deal with it.