Vindicatrix – Al-Bashariyya


[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

How was this done? A question I’ve been asking about Vindicatrix for some years now and one which I don’t think there will ever be an answer to. This is a more recognizable approach out of him and yet, you can make out undercurrents and disquieting tendencies to it you’ve not come across before. After having made two full length albums (and a soundtrack which remains his most extreme release) he’s elected to peddle his wares in smaller portions; the three tracks he’s sent out on ‘Al-Bashariyya’ go to great lengths in order to shroud their intent but if you’ve been listening to what he does then have no fear: the only things you own which sound like this bear his name.

If this is your first time hearing him then I wish I could see your face and if you’ve been along on this ride for a bit I suggest you play this EP up against his “Hume/Unborn Vectors” single. Odds are you end up sporting a ridiculous grin.

All the sub-bass you could ever ask for is rummaging about looking for an entry point into that skull of yours while his voice on “Body 2 Let” implores an escape from the physical. He does so love cramming that tinny snare and those biting high hats into the smallest acoustical space possible; they explode like a fusillade of shrapnel and then vanish into the smouldering sonic background in seconds. Even the faint hint of a rhythm changes intensity from bar to bar, never being allowed to evolve beyond a variety of dull taps. I suspect they’re a code of some sort but good luck breaking it, there’s no Enigma to unravel this one.

Something else to ponder is that his sound has more or less continually remained guttural in tone, imparting more and more anxiety with every release. He’s that whispering doubt which keeps waking you up at 3am and makes you wander about your home to be sure you’re alone; there is an intimacy in what he does which makes listening to him a rather perilous undertaking. These are not songs, per se, they are more sculptures taken from the auditory arena which have been cunningly placed on vinyl or transmitted over the wires slyly without explanation. Don’t be surprised if they pop into your head randomly when listening to other artists or watching your favorite films; there is method here but it’s devilishly concealed, to the point where some forget there even is any and mistakenly write off his music as merely “odd”, “strange” or the one I hear most often: “difficult”.

He’s delivered a menacing little hors d’oeuvre regardless. Partake of it delicately.

Vindicatrix Al-Bashariyya
Dekorder, Dekorder 079
LP/Digital 2016

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