Tuesday, March 17, 2009

take to the streets with apocalypse refrain

Augmented reality?

More on the spamlisting issue. What is really going on?

And apparently yesterday is when the Lindens decide to investigate and fix the problem. Riiiight. Because it's not like it's been going on since last year or anything.

RFL is here, and between disaffection for the grid and design work--or designs not working--on Gimp, I'm at something of an impasse for the dress I promised to have ready. I think my inspirations are not, perhaps, the ones the organizers are looking for--I've already discarded DNA spirals and pink plasma cells as texture concepts. (I'm me. The last two dresses I designed featured blood as a theme, and my biggest seller is the bloodspattered nigh-tutu outfit I first made two years back. Come on now.)

So, Evestus for now.

Evestus is something of a puzzle--to me, at least. Nominally coming from the same tradition of band-named individuals--like what Nine Inch Nails does for dark industrial or Everlast does for Irish rap, Evestus leads to just one guy. Who's doing alternative black industrial noisecore...kind of.

His sound currently is heavy, extraordinarily heavy. Hammer to the throat heavy, his songs more growled or screamed than sung, backed by increasingly inventive drum machine loops and overdriven guitars. Which bespeaks major technology, right? Lots of machines wired for sound.

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Ectomag said in the review of Evestus' last album, "[Whoever] said 'drum machines have no soul' has never heard Evestus. Wasteland has as much soul, energy and substance as any organic band you can name."

(For an idea, here's Evestus performing Dramacore live in 2007, and Sacrifice from the new album, in 2008.)

So...why is he here? Even a cursory examination of the music he's making for This is Dramacore leads to the inescapable conclusion that while he might be scripting songs for the apocalypse (in fact, Wastelands, his last album, was heavily influenced by the dystopian video game, Fallout 2), and enjoys vintage details, in the main, this Estonian-born composer is working far, far indeed from even the big band 1940's vintage sound.

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If you read through Microlips' mini-review of Evestus (scroll down, and there's a chance to snag three song samples from Wastelands) you'll get more of an idea of his overall sound--vocalized or instrumental, it relies heavily on percussion to advance the sound. And usually that's a good thing, because percussion in any form advances the clockwork world, from tiny hammers to chopsticks, drumhide to metal sheets, hands and rods and brass and gears--it's all part of the same impulse, that heartbeat we all return to, that we imitate in so many different ways when we make the things we make.

But there was a big change from Wastelands, with its crafted sound loops, overdub and constant beat, to the sound he's refined for This is Dramacore, which seems to be a refined-to-the-point-of-chrome revisitation of his deathmetal and noisecore roots.

(Evestus' second release from This is Dramacore, "You're Not Good Enough to Be My Enemy". A note of warning: images found in that video, the second directed by Grete "Stitch" Laus, might be disturbing to some people.)

The puzzle comes in in that, even in the heaviest of his raging, one can still hear loops of cello in the background, or the small metallic ringing of metal striking metal and making it chime. Still, are these touches enough to call the artist in the main, steampunk? Is it all about putting on a top hat and some goggles and forget the sound, the concept of the thing?

A caution at the bottom of his webpage says: Contacting evestus may result in severe psychic damage. I believe it.

But I don't believe he's steampunk.

4 comments:

koyt said...

Great discussion! Evestus is extremely fascinating!

Emilly Orr said...

He is, yes. I keep coming back to listen to new releases from him, and, while I still do not believe he's steampunk, he is fascinating.

mr.Dawking said...

Have you heard the new album "This Is Dramacore"?

Emilly Orr said...

Mr. Dawking,

I am confused. First, it's not new as it hit music stores in 2009. Second, yes--or I wouldn't have mentioned what I mentioned about it.

So...hmm? Did you not read the article, or...?