Pillowdiver: Bloody Oath

Berlin-based René Margraff based his latest Pillowdiver tracks on three Australian pop hits released in 1980, 1982, and 1989, one of which is easy to identify (AC/DC) and the others less so. Despite being issued in a small run of sixty-six copies, Bloody Oath has been treated to the same care Dronarivm gives all its releases, with the three-inch CD-R couched within a crimson-coloured booklet design whose inner fold-out displays designs associated with aboriginal Australian culture. A connecting line can easily be drawn from the imagery to the originating musical material, which Margraff, adopting the mindset of an anthropologist, broached as archaic remnants of a past civilization before radically transforming them by, in his own words, “freezing, stretching, mangling.”

Of course, little of the originals remains once Margraff's done with them, and one would be hard pressed to imagine anyone being able to locate an identifying trace in any of the three—all of which simply means that the material has become pure Pillowdiver: a smoldering field of raw droning electricity in “Back in Black (Angus Freeze)” gradually builds in volume and mass, “Down Under in Two Parts (Full Frequency Sweep)” thrums with hot-to-the-touch purpose like some electrical detonator on the verge of combustion, and “Misty/Devastated” suggests a space capsule barreling through the cosmos at light speed. Think of Bloody Oath as twenty-three minutes of lacerating, high-energy smears and drones (the label is Dronarivm, after all).

August-September 2013