Sunday, 23 February 2014

Review from FREQ by J Simpson
Antimacassar, the debut LP from Dolly Dolly (the alter-ego of David Yates) explores the three -realisms of the 20th Century – surrealism, irrealism and magickal realism – with a combination of spoken word, sci-fi electronics, sound collage and avant-classicism. The result is punker than punk, heavier than heavy metal and manages to creep-out, illuminate and inspire; and thus subvert normalcy. Antimacassar also features some of the current electronic scene’s blackest lights, with contributions from EkoplekzMoon Wiring ClubPosition NormalTime Attendant and more.
a symbol by which to dissect Englishness
An antimacassar is a lace doily, placed over the back of armchair in Victorian drawing rooms. Dolly Dolly uses this image of antiquated British life as a symbol by which to dissect Englishness. It starts off with “Wattle & Daub (with Position Normal)”, a not-entirely flattering homage:
England my England / You flickering island of endlessness upon endlessness / A cold mist of your fibrous trolleys stifles the sun/ and the arrow aimed at your heart fidgets with smoky spasms…
half-strangled uncles stuffed with crisps…
your weather like underdone mutton…
…and her dress is made of unwound clockwork.
This gives you a hint of the unsettling language you have in store on this 19-track soliloquy.
the sinister surrealism of the everyday and flourishes into monstrous
Antimacassar is rooted in the sinister surrealism of the everyday and flourishes into monstrous, fleshy perfumed gardens, rife with decay and potential. Look at the short “Among,” in which coins come to life, “they wriggle, bright and alive, in my palm.”
There is a mission, here; and a message to be unburied, like those coins.
There is a disturbing tendency among “extreme musics” to label and commidify, thus negating their threat. It is a simple, but dangerous, mind twist, with over-privileged suburbanites getting to feel tough and street by co-opting revolutionary and antagonistic music like hip-hop, punk rock, noise and black metal. It could be said that to name and codify these musicks is to rip out their fangs with rusty pliers, making them safe, drooling house pets for the status quo.
Dolly Dolly does not come out and tell you what he is up to. With the somewhat light-hearted cover art, David Yates catches you off guard, and shatters yr world view like a blunt force trauma, like a 4X4 to the temple.
Antimacassar also reminds us of the ritualistic power of listening to an album – a whole album, from start to finish. You fall under its spell; it takes you on a journey. The album tells you something, transferring some hidden wisdom. In that way, the spinning stylus calls the circle; and the ritual is underway for as long as it spins. In a very unexpected way, Dolly Dolly reminds us of the real purpose of ritual and magick, to shatter consensual reality, to re-imprint society’s hold upon our minds. Traditional ritual used a grab bag of methods to produce extreme states, from love to terror. It was designed to place you in unfamiliar territory, to make you think for yrself, to become yr own master.
accumulates to produce a terrible gnosis, a feeling of potency and possibility
There is a gradual decay of waking life and mundane thoughts as you listen to Dolly Dolly’s dream dialogues repetitively. The streets seem to open up and swallow you whole, as the possibility of something rising from the ocean, with carousel horses swimming for their lives. All of this surrealism and morbidity accumulates to produce a terrible gnosis, a feeling of potency and possibility, which then erupts in “Everbecoming,” which is a serious, no-joke dissertation on post-Thelemic occult thought. There’s not even any music – it might as well be a fourth way lecture.
Adept – a man who by conscious effort of will is able to free his being from the influences who condition the human being, and thus attains possession of superhuman power and knowledge.
In a wonderful piece written by Mark Fisher, the esteemed K-Punk, for, he wrote, “Old New English Library paperbacks become occult manuals, full of esoteric philosophy. It’s still possible to transform ourselves, to transport ourselves, and Dolly Dolly shows us how.”
a harrowing journey that doesn’t pull any punches
A direct line from banality to full-blown imagination, from modern life, through irrealism, to mystical enlightenment. It’s a harrowing journey that doesn’t pull any punches. During Antimacassar‘s brief existence, you will be subjected to your own autopsy, (“Corptoepose”), reflections on death (“Gone”) and your father’s ghost spilling out into the street as newstype stains your hands (“Horrible News”). Amidst the phantasms and the memento mori there is wonder to be found. Boring, horrible, soul-grinding reality is shattered for good – leaving room for something more.
Antimacassar is beat poetry for beatheads. In one fell swoop, he reclaims the threat of poetry and sound collage, making something truly challenging and thrilling. Dig beneath the surface – you’ll never be the same.

Freq also reviewed The Time Attendant's Treacherous Orb EP and Ekoplekz's Unfidelity. Both of whom feature on Antimacassar.

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