Contemplative movements in perception & self-exaltation. Occult themes. Ritual drone.
Ever read Simon Whitechapel's horrific short story "Walpurgisnachtmusik"? It's a vaguely Lovecraftian tale that combines extreme avant-garde industrial music with monstrous body horror and a seriously twisted, surrealistic edge that made it one of my favorite entries in Creation's The Starry Wisdom collection. It's also what sprung to mind when I first listened to Cursory's debut EP La Sorciere, the first release from this sub-imprint of Blossoming Noise. A somewhat perplexing record of self-described "ritual drone", La Sorciere emits a carcinogenic black pulse that comes pretty close to what I imagined the music sounded like in Whitechapel's story. Instead of evoking violent Lovecraftian lusts, though, Cursory is more attuned to the writings of Aleister Crowley; along the matrix of each side, one can read the etched inscriptions "Let the corpse of mind lie unburied on the edge of the Great Sea" and "Some men look into their minds, and find naught but pain and shame", both quotes taken from Crowley's Book Of Lies. Beyond that, though, this is pure drone enshrouded in a vaguely ritualistic atmosphere.
The a-side begins as a simple throbbing synthesizer drone, a minimal electronic hum amplified into a speaker-vibrating rumble that stretches across the entire side. As the piece progresses, additional layers of distortion and echoing effects begin to wash across that low rumbling drone with increasing frequency, the note slipping out of phase ever so slightly, the whole sound slowly growing more dissonant and more eerie as it goes on, a ghostly deathdrone suspended in space that at the very end gives itself over to a violently jarring blast of rhythmic noise that becomes caught in an infinite lock groove.
Side two actually plays backwards, with the needle needing to be placed at the very end of the side in order for it to be played properly; this piece is even more oppressive in feel, opening with slowly expanding pulsars of low, rumbling bass tone that send shock-waves rippling out with each slow-motion pulse, slowly spreading out in density as the side continues, until it finally slips headlong into another crushing lock groove at the very end, emitting an even deeper bass tone sculpted into a malevolent distorted throb, circling slowly within a haze of faintly pulsating static, vast and mindless and malevolent.
Very nicely packaged in high quality jackets with offset lithographic printing, and issued in a limited edition of two hundred fifty copies. - Crucial Blast
La Sorcière is my first exposure to Cursory a project which I know nothing about. Starting with the presentation of this release I can say it’s quite an effort where it has been beautifully yet subtly packaged by Blossoming Noise who always manages to put out quality material. Ultra heavy stock with silver silk screen art is very effective but leaves almost no information about the release to be shared.
Side A contains the track Some Men Look into their Minds and Find Naught but Pain and Shame which provides a bed of wispy noise with various swells. It’s an airy type of track and it somehow employs ambience and noise at the same time. Nothing too aggressive so it puts me in an inquisitive mood.
Side B seems to be rife with locked grooves – either that or I am merely having some trouble with my record player – but it once again seems to contain filtered noise only this time it’s much more subtle and seems to be focused around low tones. A few times my needle skips back to the edge or plays backward. It’s a very curious effect where you can’t seem to know where you are in the track at any given time. Certainly an interesting experiment, or perhaps just a fuck up in my setup although I doubt that is the case.
So it seems Cursory focuses on experimental sound for La Sorcière and Blossoming Noise does a great job of presenting it in every aspect of the game. This record is surely some type of “artifact” and most likely that is a curious one. Fascinating release. - Existence Establishmen
released December 12, 2012
Recorded at Personal Security In A Troubled World. All Sounds & Production Graham E Moore. Layout & Design Makeup Diaries.