David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

27 January 2013

Crystal Castles at Billboard, Melbourne

This is Zac Hepburn's review of Crystal Castles, 
published in The Age ( here ) on 24 January 2013 :
A crystal-clear invasion of the senses

ABANDON all hope ye who enter, a Crystal Castles performance is nothing to take lightly. Performing to a capacity crowd at Melbourne's Billboard, The Venue, the Canadian duo, comprised of producer Ethan Kath and vocalist Alice Glass, arrived as a chaotic force determined to destroy the eardrums of every audience member.         

Touring nationally with the Big Day Out in support of the latest LP release Crystal Castles III, the set featured an assortment of material. Current singles Plague and Wrath of God took centre stage, pulsating with caustic reverie and palpable dread reserved only for the darkest Joy Division songs. Crowd favourite and worldwide chart topper Not in Love closed out the set to rapturous dancing and applause.          

The duo's style of electronica is akin to a fever that burrows deep into the listener's psyche. Each track is a disorienting labyrinth, simultaneously beautiful while also employing an asphyxiating blitzkrieg of drums and shrill electronic sounds. Chain-smoking between songs, Glass exudes a frenetic violent energy. Her broken timbre is mixed with manic dance moves, and the decision to continuously leap into the mosh pit makes her a kinetic force to witness live.        

While the bombastic soundtrack occasionally drowned out the brittle vocals, the sonic onslaught effectively created a melting pot of adrenaline, anguish and paranoia.

Their music is a wrecking ball of hostile alienation fuelled by raw emotion and melancholic laments that are not easy to forget.

 A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/

 someone looks at something ...