Review Summary: In heaven, everything is fine.
Somewhere between catatonic and hazy, Rrose and Lucy find themselves reunited. With a sequel to their 2016 collaboration, we see them taking inspiration from Greek hero Odysseus’ encounter with an island of apathetic, narcotic-ingesting layabouts who emitted a contagious air of responsibility-shedding, threatening their voyage home. In short, if you’re an Ithacan on a mission, this music is best kept at arm’s distance. Techno artist Rrose (name derived from Marcel Duchamp’s feminine alter-ego) tends to occupy a realm of psychedelia and violent contemplation, feet planted; Lucy, by some contrast, toys with the mind elsewhere, always moving. As a pair, their concepts are meshed in The Lotus Eaters II
This is evident in the track list, somewhat: song titles convey restlessness and discomfort, with eerie self-awareness tunnelling one’s vision on biological devolution, almost like the film Altered States
. “Seeds of Discontent” begins with sinister drone, instantly betraying the motif (there’s really no question: this ends badly). Blue synths layer the body, which is soon hammered in a circular motion with questionable intentions for the mind / body / soul. Vegetation ensues. Things are a bit more lively elsewhere. “Inverted Limb” hits a four-on-the-floor beat, satisfyingly groovy in cadence. We see callbacks to The Lotus Eaters I
, namely the theme of Dissociative Disorder, where we gradually seem to lose connectivity with our physical self.
The Lotus Eaters II
suffers a bit, I think, in being too reminiscent. Granted, it is a sequel of sorts, but the sounds on their earlier effort were more intriguing, and the narrative a bit less streamlined. Sonically, they are distinct releases, but the thematic structure remains. Once you clue in, and the insidious veil lifts, the transportive quality is compromised. There you lie, strapped in, as you were. So, to their credit, the team takes things further psychologically despite the familiar setting. The final seconds of “Inverted Limb” convey a sobering paradox: the track sinks deep, yet the climbing synth work is a metaphor of ensuing danger. It’s like falling asleep via anaesthetic, watching your killer (saviour？) approach as your eyelids press.