Old Time Relijun
Catharsis in Crisis (KLP184)
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Catharsis in Crisis was written and recorded at Calvin Johnson's fabled Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia, Washington in four inspired days and nights. Legendary producer Steve Fisk was recruited to mix this raw material into OTR's most fully realized album to date. OTR + Calvin Johnson + Steve Fisk = a magical alchemy of sound and light. But don't worry kids, it's still terrible background music.
Arrington de Dionyso's electrifying vocal delivery retains the blood-soaked risk of a true underground visionary, while showcasing his mastery of over-the-top nuance. Aaron Hartman (contrabass) and Germaine Baca (drums) propel the album forward with relentless bump-and-grind. Catharsis in Crisis is the first album to reveal OTR's new secret weapon, subversive saxophonista Benjamin Hartman, who uses and abuses his classical training to drive the band further into the spheres.
No Wave? Fuck that. Catharsis in Crisis is Yes Wave for the young millennium. "Daemon Meeting" blazes through a bizarre convocation of underworld creatures, to conclude by asking, "What does it mean to be human?" A tenor saxophone throttles the dub-infected "Liberation" with propulsive urgency through a zone of "young life and decay", while songs such as "In the Crown of Lost Light" and "Invisible New" confronts infinity with their bright shimmering sound. Even Dante is given a run for his money with the Ennio Morricone influenced junk-disco centerpiece "Veleno Mortale," actually an Italian "re-translation" of the brutal "Burial Mound" featured on OTR's 2012.
Taken as a whole, the three discs of the Lost Light Trilogy are a tour-de-force of myth, dream, and autobiography. "We wanted 'The Lost Light Trilogy' to be a kind of rock opera," de Dionyso says. "But with a non-linear development of plots and characters. Every song on each album contains musical or lyrical fragments of other songs within the trilogy, like broken shards of mirrors reflecting each other infinitely, the way a cubist painting presents multiple perspectives of the same subject, or the labyrinthine twists in a Borges story."
Catharsis in Crisis, while concluding the trilogy, also stands on its own. Like the confrontational, compulsively danceable live show for which OTR is known and loved Catharsis is a record and a testament to the oscillations of opposites. Darkness and Light, Water and Fire, Spirit and Matter struggle within Old Time Relijun's alchemical oeuvre. From this elemental battle, the music emerges, dripping and triumphant.