Year: 2017 / Format: Tape / Label: Tartarus Records
‘1: Gelige, traumatische zielsverrukking’ is the first of two demos, leading up to our (as of yet untitled) sophomore full-length album. Thematically, it deals with the first chapters of Ruben Wijlacker’s upcoming novel ‘De protodood in zwarte haren’.
Conceptually, this demo starts off in Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucia. Fictional early 20th century Spanish/Dutch painter Pieter van der Laan (aka Pedro) lives with his parents and the Segovia family, who own a small wine company. After both families fail to pay their debts to an infamous loan shark, they are brutally butchered inside their home.
Pedro, who was out painting orchards when the massacre took place, finds his family and flees towards the North. On a train to Bobadilla he meets Béatrice Charron: a charming, yet deceitful young woman. Béatrice convinces Pedro to join her and her husband on their journey towards Paris, France. Charles Charron, Béatrice’s husband, is a rather unintelligent drunk, who is largely unaware of his wife’s flirtatious behaviour towards Pedro.
The threesome take a short break in the city of Toledo, famous for its medieval cathedral. Inside the cathedral, Pedro discovers a work by 16th century Mannerist painter El Greco (1541-1614), whose estranging work is often seen as an important precursor to modern art. Pedro has a spiritual epiphany as he approaches the painting inside the sacristy: the dynamic depiction of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ seems to have a life of its own. This experience, Pedro’s first real life encounter with abstraction, seems to plant a seed inside his confused mind. From this moment on, Pedro is bound to gravitate towards the unknown, and unintentionally enters a world of unquenchable desire and both sexual and artistic transgression.
‘1: Gelige, traumatische zielsverrukking’ was written and recorded during a one-year period. It was fuelled by a desire to experiment with sonic scenery. The dry and desolate south of Spain was musically evoked through the use of flamenco guitar, southern rhythms and brass instrumentation. It also features a musical contribution by Falu de Cádiz; one of the very few traditional flamenco singers living in the Netherlands.
The monologues and dialogues were exclusively written and recorded by the band themselves and feature professional voice actors. Field recording, sound design and additional effects were also done by the band. ‘1: Gelige, traumatische zielsverrukking’ features a guest appearance by Johan van Hattum (Terzij de Horde, Black Decades).
‘1: Gelige, traumatische zielsverrukking’ was released in 2017 on cassette by The Throat.
Front cover artwork by Sven Signe den Hartogh.
‘Grey Aura’s weirdness is oddly alluring, an unsettling case of art house delirium that one could perhaps ascribe to the effects of heat stroke or staring at the sun for too long.’