Label: Phantasma Disques
Mater Suspiria Vision, in three years of its existence, has released a consistent and dizzying slew of releases – spanning from full-length albums, EPs and many miscellaneous (and unique) packages. While the duo credited as Aura and Cosmotropia De Xam – “vox and religion” and “electronics and echo tapes” respectively – have been heavily affiliated to the witch house genre, they seem to have more disturbing and avant-garde similarities to Throbbing Gristle than the likes of Salem or oOoOO.
What does this mean? Mater Suspiria Vision isn’t your standard witch house project. Yeah, there are those dreary and uncomfortable atmospheres and drug-induced (it feels) synths; but there’s also a lot of weird timing and noisy, disjointed textures and unusual vocals – at least in the context of things. Needless to say, Mater Suspiria Vision are very, very strange.
On this latest release, the music is in context of an “audio-musical mass”, recorded at locations that include Mulholland Drive, the infamous Sharon Tate House and somewhere where the film “Lucifer Rising” was shot. With this in mind, the album is a very disturbing experience, sometimes more when thinking about how it was produced than the actual material. That said, the album plays heavily on haunted ambience and repetition, it’s no comforting Brian Eno album: you have been warned!
The opening track, A New H Of Consciousness, starts the album off with a sharp synth vibe, with the pattern feeling like some sort of VHS movie’s featuring a post-apocalyptic world’s siren. It basically carries on up to the 1:40 minute mark with slight changes here and there but then becomes an electronic drone matter – the synths begin to ring out, high-pitched echoes rise in the backround like a submarine beacon and soft, haunting vocals lure you in. Then you have a cold instructional narrative from a heavily echoed female voice – presumably by fellow electronic artist How I Quit Crack, who also guests on the majority of other tracks too – making you feel like you’re being indoctrinated for a cult initiation.
As soon as the track finishes, you’re hurled into the monster track Hallucination 1969. Over 19-minutes in length and featuring something that sounds like an 80’s synth drum quickly thwacking away, while a load of textures are thrown at you – it’s simply a journey along a psychedelic tightrope; just dizzying and almost nauseating at times. And if that track doesn’t spin you out enough, the following 40-second ‘bite’ Infinity Ritual consists of a claustrophobic looped female vocal softly singing “nah nah-nah nah nah”, with the suspenseful feeling that some horror will grab you by surprise in you in those harrowing seconds.
Messiah Of Evil, another pretty lengthy track just falling just shy of 10-minutes, is a track that features some vibrant and crystal-like keys, while a simple beat hammers in the background. Female (and male) vocals appear again and perhaps at it’s most intimidating delivery in the album. Why? Because it’s definitely at least echoed and reversed (at times), reminiscent of the style that the sample at the beginning Pig Destroyer’s Treblinka is presented. The indistinguishable mix of tortured and orgasmic sounds too are both haunting and uncomfortable indulgent at the same time. It’s almost like hearing the insightful nightmares of a sex cult member. It’s weird.
However, Out Of Body does dip the mood slightly, venturing into all too familiar grounds as the first two tracks. It’s a little repetitive in style and execution – there’s the siren-esque synths, echoed beats and the intertwining bits of sounds and the same robotic psychedelic narrative (“I’m out of my body now / Hollywood Necronomicon / Hollywood sacrifice teleportation / Let us celebrate the carnival of souls”). While the overall sound of it is pretty nice by itself, it’s very dense considering how much you’ve been exposed to this stuff already in the album.
The last track is Hollywood Requiem (the shortest track ignoring Infinity Ritual) and ends the album nicely on a drone plane. Again, synths echo like waves – this time low and bassy in comparison to most other tracks – and a nice (almost operatic) female vocal reverbs the soundscape, moving closer and further. The siren synth returns from Out Of Body and slightly (and frustratingly) ruins the soothing atmosphere the track builds up so far, but thankfully it does eventually stop, and returns to the deep drone – this time, mostly made up by the echoed vocals, which sets a heavenly vibe and finishes the album on an all-rounded high.
But this is the thing about Mater Suspiria Vision: they have never made music that let’s you sit comfortably. They grip your attention with a cruel squeeze and while it sometimes feels good, you know it’s with vicious intentions. Despite all the negative connotations that description brings, it’s far from a bad experience – that’s why Mater Suspiria Vision are so refreshing; bringing a sense of jarring ambience in a good portion of their music and “Hollywood Necronomicon” is no different.
The album definitely feels like something you should experience in full, in one sitting, not something you can put on random or listen to just one song and turn off. Yes, it can get a little tiresome (even draining by the time Out Of Body kicks in) but overall it’s a pretty enjoyable album. Again, Mater Suspiria Vision feel like they have more in common with the likes of Throbbing Gristle or Coil than the big names in witch house… if you enjoy both, perhaps this is ideal for you. It’s well worth checking out if you’re moderately interested in either; it’s another solid release from the duo.