Review Summary: Dungeon synth's long-form lo-fi blueprint.
Lurking in the shadows of relative latter success, often overlooked for the tripartite of classic albums materialised in its wake, The Song of a Long Forgotten Ghost
symbolically assumes the hermit position its aesthetics suggest. Mortiis’ debut demo conjures simulacrum towers; each dreary stone finger extending from the palm of an equally immaterial castle - the structure initially viewed warily from afar, suddenly all too close. Inside we find dusty lofts harbouring decrepit figures, some hunched beyond unexplored corridors, other spectres poorly concealed by the flickering shadows of spluttering torches. Dissonant tones linger, teasing out nerves and nurturing paranoia, while reverberating bass drums echo down endless halls. Can you be sure
the portrait’s eyes really traced your movements – of course not, and still, you’d prefer they didn't seem to. The same conspiracy of synth melodies appearing with unstable tones and equally inconsistent tempos can be held accountable for inducing disorientation, both spatial and temporal, in the unlucky subject. Repeating motifs mirror déja-vu-enducing passages while spiral-staircase saunters are detailed in slow, trudging rhythms supported by persistent percussion. Though the techniques and style depicted here are somewhat sloppily performed and amateurishly recorded, counting these as drawbacks would be missing the point entirely. ‘Charming’ barely scratches the surface for a genre that revels in riding the line between poor quality and atmospheric license. These apparent flaws are the objet petit a
, each contributing to the unnamable quality that makes this demo and others like it so irresistible. At least, for the few willing to set aside auditory anxiety and explore, with eyes closed and metaphorical arms outstretched.