[Artetetra, from Metaphysical Graffiti, Cassette Tape]
Music & Videoart by Loris Cericola
Text by Enrico Monacel
Summer nights are a gateway. I catch feelings fast sweating through the crystal lit darkness but even on my very lonesome drifting outwards is easy, common. Coming home, drizzled in sweat and shining like a Twilight vampire. Stiff with benzos or alcohol or whatever. Waifish boy splayed on a couch or bed like a syphiliac consuming whatever the nearest screen musters out of itself. Surfing channels and opening tabs till eyes melt and the brain is stretched sore. Anime ultra-violence and mass culture and porn. Those nights are a gateway. It’s fitting that the lot behind the anarcho-psychedelic label Artetetra decided to publish Loris Cericola’s Metaphysical Graffiti as soon as temperatures got unbearable. To catch the drift. Use the gateway.
Talking about this tape may have brought up nostalgia, hauntology, the ghosts of a future that never was. I can see their point, in a sense. The record toys with images that certainly call to mind a certain desperate ghostliness. One could easily picture Loris Cericola spelunking in his dusty tape cave, unearthing the most bizarre creatures he could come up with. His Dadaist collages have that imperceptible quality that naturally leads the theory-inclined listeners to concepts such as those. The 1-2 punch of ‘Droid’s memory coding’ and ‘Planet 23’, for example, heavily suggest a peculiar sort of aural post-apocalyptic sci-fi: visions of a distant time ahead of us captured unfaithfully on busted VHS tapes. An apocalyptic promise never kept, haunting from beyond its ultimate betrayal. Howling and whispering and under-the-radar-and-below-human-perception tones clashing as this netherworld appears before us with its ghastly glitz and glamour, flames and droids travelling the desert and all.
But I honestly think that this characterization is quite reductive; a straitjacket, not an actual clarifying description. I think that Cericola’s tape has something else going for it, something a little more subtle. If I had to give a name to the sort of feeling he is going for I’d probably say that it’s not really a work of nostalgia or haunting, but a sort of sonic representation of escape and abandon as an existential thing that sometimes throws our lives out of sync and beyond the limits of normality. The droning ‘Aquatic reanimation in respiratory chamber’ does not speak of some sort of nostalgia of any kind but embodies that feeling you get when you give yourself up, let everything in, zone out on a summer night. It’s not about longing for something you used to have or were promised but about losing your footing on reality and just drifting, as Psychic TV would have it. This sort of feeling has probably something to do with a certain power that lo-fi music holds, a tradition and a method this record proudly inherits: messing with the cables, collecting bizzarro tapes and sounds, refusing the normal way of going about recording things surely does something to a brain. In this sense, despite its formlessness and occasional abstractness, Cericola’s tape has way more to do with the innocent amazement Guided by voices sung about in their finest hours, when they were staring at hardcore UFOs, rather than the things Ghost Box put out. It’s a record about that sort of youthful revolt, made for loners who will youthfully revolt for the rest of their lives. Burial could never.
One drunken night me and J. and G. stumbled upon a boar gangling on the side of the road. A car had crashed into him, popped one of his lungs and exploded his skeletal structure. The tip of a rib blew out of his skin. He dragged it in the dirt. The wheezing coming out of his mucked snout – asthmatic, drawn out, continuous, metallic, no longer fleshy or organic in any way – and the sense of feverish abandon that got over us as we saw the sorry image sounded just like this record. Thick and choked and hypnotic like a beast aggressively rasping his way out on cold cement. A snarl vibrating out of our reach.
‘Metaphysical Graffiti’ is out at the Artetetra Platform.
Buy tape and digital here.
Special thanks to Achim Szepanski/NON-Copyriot/Mille Plateaux/Force Inc.