Desiderii Marginis – Hypnosis


[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

Splayed across two discs and with no other objective than expression in mind, Desiderii Marginis return to active duty. Now, he hasn’t really been away all that long but his latest collection of tracks are not to be compared to the others. Things have changed. I view dark ambient as a patchwork of small allotments which each artist is given (don’t ask who doles them out, I have no idea) to do with as they wish. Depending on how adept they are at their craft, the results will either take root and thrive or they will grow brittle, crumble and die. There are many who have done the latter in this style, to name names at this point would just be petty but trust me… there’s no end to the cadavers littering the field.

Desiderii Marginis have now done several albums but with ‘Hypnosis’ it has become more organic than ever. The what, why and where govern his material. What: the selection of both natural and spoken word samples he picks out to pepper his arrangements with. Why: this should be quite easy to ascertain; why he chose what he did. Lastly where: the location or locations in which these barbs were placed. These three dynamics are what keep me coming back to what he does year after year and more tellingly, decade after decade. Yes, you read that right, this project is now into it’s teens but unlike the petulant and unruly age it shares with those rebellious i-phone addicts there’s no acting out going on. His songwriting has matured wonderfully on ‘Hypnosis’ and will reel you in before you even know the barb is in your mouth.

When albums of this length are issued, especially in this genre, there is a tendency to let things repeat and claim later that this laziness was part of the “concept”. Our droning maestro will have none of that, preferring to place his more tranquil and soothing compositions on the first disc. That’s it, just keep playing them out. Aren’t they calming? Don’t you feel the worries of the world draining away… everything is so peaceful oh listen over there aren’t those geese? Just imagine them punctuating the silence with the beating of their wings. Nothing like some crisp,cold morning air to start the day is there. To sit in this place is to fade into the surroundings, nothing to worry about and no one to bother you.

The second disc starts to change things up. Storm clouds form on the horizon but you’re so lulled into an absolute sense of bliss that you don’t even feel the first raindrop hit. Then it begins to burn and the world goes pitch black. Desiderii are renowned for utilizing what I’d term an enveloping cascade of feedback. When he decides that it’s time to switch gears, then that’s it. No more individual notes and sounds to seduce, this is the brutal nature of unbridled conquest. Trying to shut it out is an impossibility because he has somehow managed to reproduce the rush of blood you hear when your eyes are shut tight with your ears firmly plugged. If it’s all too much, then reach over and hit stop. Quit now while you still can.

I chose -and continue to choose- to let what this one has done wash over me. It isn’t a question of strength or even spite, it’s about appreciation for art and the one who put it all together. His vision is well defined and always has been, you don’t come away from what he does thinking “well that was a waste”. It can be daunting to approach a release such as ‘Hypnosis’ due to how massive it is but cast aside your fears and dive in. I’d suggest early twilight with a chilly breeze rustling the leaves outside. Wear headphones if you want to truly understand, there’s more going on here than you realize. This is no exercise in endurance, once you are attuned you will notice how quickly two albums worth of this goes by; there is no such thing as time in this place, legions of memories dwell just beneath the sour and lifeless soil. Only the smallest candle burning brighter throughout a darkened land; baleful arcs of fire spiraling in time to the beating hubris of your own enraptured heart.

Desiderii MarginisHypnosis
Cyclic Law, 71st Cycle
2CD/Digital 2014

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