Late last month, I said that the Edgetone Records release of Nihil Communication’s “We Are Violent,” reminded me of “a compressed version of everything that creeps me out about Diamanda Galas’s best work, but without the volume or the howling.”
I was on the right track, but not close enough to the truth– realistically, this album seems to cover more than simple personal fright– but instead, conveys a portion of the greater fearsomeness of the world. Rather than simply conjure a series of aimless spooky “washes,” Andre Custodio seems to set his sights on more cosmic, xenophobic territory. I chalk it up to Custodio’s success in this endeavor that I am experiencing such a difficult time even describing it; “We Are Violent” seems to combine the dread of our unknown future with the unsatisfactory emptiness of the universe.
This is the blues, as written for existentialists.
One of the most impressive aspects of “We Are Violent” is the recording quality itself. This disc will very nearly rattle your speakers off the wall before you hear much of anything– even at high volumes, you’ll feel this disc as much as you hear it. In some spots, there was enough of a breeze coming from my subwoofer to dry laundry.
Like many things I enjoy, “We Are Violent” exists at both ends of a continuum. It is calm, but aggressive. It is somewhat featureless, but easily disturbing. For fans of Brian Eno’s “Apollo,” or Francisco Lopez’s work, this is another fine album to check out.