[Reviewed by Iaha Crax]
Michael Page has offered intriguing harsh-electronics records under this moniker. The internet can clarify some aspects of his work quickly, so that a biographic intention probably seems futile. Cold Spring released “Confessions of a Narcissist” on 2010, chronologically very remote from other much discussed types of autobiographies like St. Augustine’s divine self-gratifications or Rousseau’s hypochondriac elegies. Here the confession is all but a euphemistic verbiage, and it reaches in contrast a raw level of subjectivity.
On an intratextual level the first track, “Gag Order” is a primitive counterpart to electro-hype dancefloor songs that are so enjoyable in electro parties. It has a tense body-rhythm dissimulated by raw screeches, like some Haus Arafna track deprived of its entire mesmerizing, melodic zeitgeist.
Michael Page is a meditative person and this record stands again for an explanatory requiem of his inner self-sufficiency. Unrestricted by any dogma, he speaks of how his relation with the world is. Marked by self-idolatrous philosophies, these tracks are showing what he is behind his social mask. “I’m Not Here To Coexist, I’m Here To Win” recites of an unabashed disgust towards mankind, in an epic elegiac manner based on stuffed and rumbled electronics. The track is as deferentially morose and unfertile as the illusory interdependence between ego and masses.
With every track the despoilment of the persona contracts new aspects of the man behind the mirror. “Home Is Where The Whore Is” brings into light an unfathomable understanding of human desire. And what sneaking, coarse, spiteful but still clean-cut sounds he is using to convey the unparalleled tentacles of human libido! Indeed, beyond pitiless philanthropic convictions, man finds his home where he can fulfill his timeless indecent desires. Is it Page speaking or just me?
“Psychotic Underground Mk. II” is a truly demented track residing on witching vocals applied on some electronic asphyxiating flux. It recollects songs from Coil’s esoteric excavations mangled in a harsh network.
And then comes “Get The Rope” playing on a punk-styled deflection recoded in an ultra violent sound collage. For whom this message is intended, it can be a matter of pure intention. The attack this track launches is definitely ferocious and has the power to contest even extreme power violence bands like Anaal Nathrakh. I am really wondering in frenzy what would result from such a collaboration…
Page goes on different atmospheric territories on “Narcissist’s Mantra”: an impressionistic picture of crimson nuances, petrified into a viscous carnal vista of unrelenting disgust and despair: “The way I see myself”.
In the middle of the record you may already feel that there is too much of it. How can you bear the one beside you in all his nakedness? And how can you not see yourself undressed, beaten and submitted to this pillar of infamy? Just for being here. “A Means To What End” only prolongs this state of complete and powerless abandonment in the face of these cathartic sounds.
It’s not Megaptera’s silenced and calculated aggression or NTT’s subtle, dramatic self-immolation, and not IRM’s organic infusion of acid sonorities, it is a different and all the same parasitic, forcible entrance into your abused mental state. On “The Machinery Of Death” all of those combine to genuinely transport you in a no-exit place of French neo-novel hell. Despondency, mal du siècle, self-gratification. “Home Invasion” is reminiscent of Grunt’s “Someone Is Watching” in terms of thematic, but maintains the ways of electronica specific to Fith: clinical, suffocating PE meant to abjure any confidence in the social.
By all means, Michael Page is not disposed to any compromises with falseness and hypocrisy. His attitude is straight and frizzes tyranny. The ancient world has taught us that when the people cannot make use of their power, a tyrant is needed. Modern history is all but complacency and so is modern man. This is the disgrace of us all, and the tenth track, “Complacency Is Your Disgrace” stands for a totalitarian reproach. “The Magi” follows a satiric posture, its sounds developing into a deep space ambient rumble that conveys a spiritual aura in a grinning image of derision. “Some Dreams Last Forever” is but a hideous accumulation of Bizarre Uproar-like somatic electronics existing here to disfigure that most loved illusion we have, which is hope.
The order stays with the last statement “Gag Order (Choked Again)”: if you want to speak out there will always be someone to choke your words – and if not, your consciousness is there to leave you numbed.
To what extent you can identify yourself with the author of this record is a matter of unrestricted sincerity. As for myself, I can easily plunge into the mirror of Fire In The Head and commit the ego-cide. Otherwise, you can always listen again to Hypocrisy’s “Osculum Obscenum” for another version of yourself…