Various Artists – In Death’s Dream Kingdom


Well, I seriously judged the shit out of this album.

This album is made up of a clusterfuck of avant-garde electronic artists making music inspired by T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Hollow Men”. Here are a few perfectly reasonable reactions you might have on hearing this concept. 

  1. Fuck that boring-ass entitled bullshit. 
  2. Might be interesting.
  3. The ocean of darkness, which is my soul, accepts the collective bathing in tenebrosity.

(If you happen to be reaction number 3: Stop using words like “tenebrosity”. Nobody likes that asshole. And, don’t worry, shit does get better. Being a teenager truly fucking sucks. Ask anyone.)

I’m happy to say that this album is more than just its concept. I didn’t have a wet fart’s hope that it would deliver. So I skipped over it a couple times. But it’s two fucking hours. Get that? I assumed it was two hours of sad. Who wants to spend two hours getting depressed? It’s not the ’90s anymore. You don’t get laid by feeling pain, cutting your wrists, and sitting in the dark all the fucking time. Shit has changed since the dawn of internet. We figured out everyone’s got some terrible shit. It’s not a fuckable trait anymore. Getting a psychiatrist and figuring yourself out is a fuckable trait. And, if you don’t want to do that, there’s always memes. 

Straight up? This album drops those new, hot, and nasty kinds of sounds. It’s so far out there, it’s sitting next to Neptune. This is music made to stretch your dome. There are a lot of dark tracks on this motherfucker, but it’s not depressing. It’s compelling, forward thinking, and truly innovative shit. Some of these tracks fit into that electroacoustic genre. You know, music made to be soundscapes intended to create a particular ambiance instead of throwing down a beat. Other songs make you dance like a goth kid with a plastic soother swinging a glow stick on a rope. If you like that Aphex Twin, Sophie, Squarepusher, Daughters, and NIN kind of shit, then this is your jam.

I should say, I’ve got nothing against T.S. Eliot. That motherfucker is one of the greatest poets to have ever lived. Hands down. Motherfucker broke every human law, tossed his blankets, measured life with coffee spoons, saw birth and death, all in that cuntest month of April. He’s the real fucking deal. But I didn’t listen to this album to get down and dirty with Eliot. If I want Eliot, I’ll fucking read Eliot. What I like about these albums is the discovery of new artists and hearing something I won’t hear anywhere else. It’s impossible to find what’s compelling and unique if you’re not looking among the strange. Hell, some would say these are the same. It’s just a manner of perspective. 


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