Boomkat Product Review:
Earlier this year we were honoured to offer a first ever vinyl edition of Akira Rabelais’ ‘Spellwauerynsherde', arguably one of the 21st century’s most enigmatic and haunting albums, presaging contemporary obsessions with processed vocals in a deeply uncanny manner, enduring to resonate with up-to-the-moment music from Kara-Lis Coverdale to Visionist or John T. Gast as much as the record's distant roots in the seminal works of 12th century German mystic and composer Hildegard von Bingen, and the writings of John Milton, among others. The edition sold out straight away, so here’s another chance for you top pick up a copy - this time pressed up on gold wax.
Spellwauerynsherde was originally issued on CD via David Sylvian’s Samadhisound in 2004 and comprises a suite of seven medieval choral pieces which have been sublimated and recomposed via Rabelais’ self-built Argeïphontes Lyre software. The result is an album we’ve returned to repeatedly since its release and we've felt it's always been crying out for a vinyl issue.
Rabelais has done the piece proud for this edition with a sensitive new edit allowing its seven parts to gently flow in sequence over both sides, with the added shroud of vinyl infidelity lending a beautifully subtle patina of detachment which perhaps only serves to heighten the paradoxical - both temporal, spatial and timbral - nature of the record’s ethereal vestibules and elusive, illusory sonic spectres.
In remodelling these ancient works of art he performs a sort of hypermodern animism on ostensibly dead musical material - dead as in hardly anyone knows or plays them in the modern age - imbuing them with a contemporary relevance through the process of his bespoke software (which is freely available to download) which serves to faithfully render, open-up new dimensions and plasmic aspects from work which is now nearly a millennia old - so old you can’t even call it classical music!
For us at the least, Spellwauerynsherde has pretty much set a benchmark for experiments with ancient composition and computer music. From the breathtakingly curdled timbral dynamics and sepulchral space of 1382 Wyclif Gen. II. 7 And Spiride In To The Face Of Hym An Entre Of Breth Of Lijf through to its windswept inversion which concludes the LP with 1671 Milton Samson 1122 Add Thy Spear, A Weavers Beam, And Seven-Times-Folded Shield, each immersion in this vinyl is akin to floating thru the mists of time and sends shivers down our spine just even thinking or writing about it, never mind listening.
It really is one of the most magickal, perplexing and strangely life-giving records that you’ll likely ever hear, as well as one of the most beautiful albums we’ve come across since we opened our doors back in 1998.