Giles Corey



by ConcubinaryCode USER (21 Reviews)
August 25th, 2021 | 7 replies

Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there isn't anything you can't achieve. - Lao Tzu

It should be prefaced that this isn't a traditional album with traditional songs to be enjoyed casually. This is, to put simply, an auditory experiment by Dan Barrett to induce a non-ordinary state of consciousness. If you were to listen to this on its own without understanding the intention however passively or actively, you're missing half of what this album is set out to accomplish.

Like the eponymous album released a year before, Deconstructionist comes with Dan's own essay bringing insight into the project. While it's somewhat questionable of an ask to make a reader to do homework (don't worry I did it for you if this legitimately interests you) to get the most out of some music, I have no doubt people would mistakenly write off such a project without context. This is not something everyone will simply "get" and experiences will vary listener to listener. Some people may not "experience" anything at all. To quote Dan directly, "It is an experiment in inducing trance states, an attempt to expand the consciousness enough to include an egoless universe in a manner similar to meditation and ceremonial possession."

With that in mind, the essence Dan brings to this project is highly philosophical in nature. Mainly, disassociating the self from the world around you as to put you in a trance. The reasoning being to understand death of one's own conscious mind to grow past constraints held in place when we are absorbed in the world around us. This is achieved through binaural beats throughout the album set in a linear fashion, raising in intensity as the album progresses through its 100 minute length. As pretentious as it sounds, it's asked to be played in order, front to back, preferably in the dark, with headphones, while laying down or in a meditative posture. Personally, I played it several nights in a row as I went to sleep with my earbuds in. It should be noted that people with disassociative disorders shouldn't listen to this at all.

Musically, it's a very drone driven album with rhythmic chants, auditory waves, and haunting guitar strums, completely improvised nonetheless, to wash over you listlessly in a manner akin to a tribal gathering with drums pounding away as your body slowly zones into a state of entrainment. There is a discussion on the track "Infinite Death" detailing the state of death and what it means in a conscious setting or rather lack thereof. It's not quite engaging to hear and it goes on way too long before petering out to overpowering instrumentation. I know there's probably a reason as for it being there but I hate it's inclusion, for it ruins the natural flow that the album tries to set up. It just harshes my vibe, ok? If I had any true gripes with this project, that'd be the major one.

To get back on track to the point of all this and how it started, Dan recants experimenting with the hood you can see on the artwork of the first album to achieve his own non-ordinary state.

"I sat in front of a piano, and slid the hood over my face. Immediately, I felt the room contract. After that, only flashes. Half-memories. The tape recorder on the table clicked an hour later. I was on the floor, the hood next to me, crumpled in a heap. It took me several days to bring myself to listen to the recording. When I did I noticed things. Footsteps while I was playing, glasses clinking, knocks on the wooden body of the piano, and then myself wailing, screaming, crying for an hour until the tape stopped an hour later."

Naturally disturbed at the time, Dan later hypothesizes this as his own out of body state. Not dissimilar to when he played loud music in small rooms at live shows, what he then considered catharsis, he later backs up by explaing the phenom. His trance was set unbeknownst to him, through his own actions derived from factors like dehydration, physical exertion, monotonous rhythms, and increased external stimuli. What is effectively happening has to do with how our brain waves react to such situations putting us in such a state.

Where did this all stem from anyway? It boils down to the permeable mind, how our sense of identity ties into the world around us. How much of a reflection the world has on our own identity. In this projects case, specifically suicide. The accompanying text brings up how people will go to the Golden Gate Bridge to jump from despite it being a bit of an inconvenient way to end your life. Our sense of self is tied into a feedback loop of the world around us. If we can control our environment, surely we can control feelings such as depression. This is what I meant when I said this album is highly philosophical earlier on. There's an auditory driving as a final step to connect our internal perception of reality to our external environment.

As such, our conscious minds consist of oscillating networks which pulse at particular frequencies.

When these frequencies become predominant within our neural networks we experience a shift of consciousness.

The frequencies of our neural networks sync up with the external stimuli.

Therefore, we can induce altered states of consciousness through said stimuli.

Dan isn't just pulling it out of his ass either. Religious rituals, raves, drug use all induce this state of ecstasy to pull oneself away from the illusion of existence. This is just among many things to reach that point of self enlightenment not unlike Buddha did thousands of years ago sitting under a tree. To call this what it is, just a therapeutic escape for oneself.

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user ratings (45)

Comments:Add a Comment 
August 25th 2021


Album Rating: 2.5

Fuck this took a while. I was so tempted to put "everyone these days is so obsessed with death" - stormcloak guard for the summary.

Feedback is appreciated. There's a lot I glossed over just for the sake of simplicity. Tell me if you experienced anything with this.

Also disregard the rating. It really shouldnt matter with this so I just put the neutral rating.

August 25th 2021


Nice review

Putting this one off, want to try out the full recommended 24-hour prelisten fast cause fuck it an experience is an experience

August 25th 2021


Album Rating: 2.5

Dan also recommended taping oven mitts to your hands if you want. That's a bit much for me but it's a thing. I might try listening again when I'm having one of those days I don't eat anything. The last track is when shit gets really strong for me personally. It sounds like quackery but I think that might be the point of that Ted talk as a way of subliminally easing you into the trance and explaining it. Idk what it's actually from btw.

August 26th 2021


Fantastic review, but this album sounds like the most pompous exercise in self-worship and masturbation that I've ever seen. I might check it out though, for the sheer novelty.

August 26th 2021


Lol Dan Barrett self-worship

August 26th 2021


Album Rating: 2.5

Nah, this is 100% sincere. The self worship angle is what many people default to for this but its just not going to be for everyone. You're either into this kind of stuff or your not. It's definitely novel, definitely shouldn't be under the LP section either, but you might get more from the albums pdf. It's full of some interesting topics and ideas.

August 28th 2021


This is not for me, but i respect it

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