[Reviewed by stark]
After three albums under the sign of Tesco Organisation, Post Scriptvm has landed in the young, small but resilient The Epicurean – the label run and curated by Stefan from Anemone Tube. Take it easy though, “Séance” is not a new album, but a collection of live recordings taken on various occasions between 2003 and 2014, among others during the 2007 edition of the Wroclaw Industrial Festival.
Of course, it may be considered as a specific “best of” thing, but obviously such a choice is always one hundred per cent subjective. I’m not sure why the musicians chose exactly these tracks and not others – if these are their favorites or the most representative ones for their whole output, or they simply were the recordings of the highest quality… I don’t know, and if I have to be honest my selection would have been a bit different. But the same would apply for each fan of the project, I suppose. What’s more important is the fact that this live compilation shows Post Scriptvm as a project that is quite versatile in generating different shades of electric darkness.
There’s eight tracks in total, lasting a bit less than forty minutes. The album is released on vinyl and in digital form. The physical version looks impressive, but this slowly becomes a standard for The Epicurean. As a matter of fact, on side A they include one of my all-time Post Scriptvm evergreens, that is “Ruins Of Men”, which always intrigued me with its trippy, low and high-pitched analogue passages, a multitude of samples in the background and occasional classically atmospheric sequences, as if Klaus Schulze took a not so frequentl path and found his way into a deserted factory haunted by ghosts of war. On this side of the vinyl “Upon Decadent Scum” also makes an impression, being a raw and obscure piece of oldschool industrial/power electronics and showing an even more nihilist aspect of the project.
On side B “Abortion Of Memory” stands out, a track of a truly horror provenance, where they used such attributes as the howling of wolves, bells or demonic laughter samples, but not in a cheesy gothic manner. It always sounded more like a chaotic mess within the mind of a psycho rather than the soundtrack for another “Dracula” version. This live version is more raw and austere than what we can hear on “Grey Eminence”, but it makes you feel comparably uncomfortable. And of course “Exacerberation”, delightfully exploiting power electronics attributes.
If you don’t know Post Scriptvm, I guess this is a good start. If you do, you can still consider purchasing it as the versions here aren’t played one to one. This project was always distinguished by its rich texturing and careful crafting of uneasy atmospheres. “Séance” confirms that they are able to recreate such an environment during live performances as well.