So this is it? Mixed feelings about tonight’s exclusive premiere on Last Day Deaf from ‘usual suspect’ Vlimmer and his post punk/dark wave/shoegaze (if you prefer “darkgaze”) outfit, and the track ‘Vorwehen‘ off the 18th & last -for the project- EP ‘XIIIIIIII‘ (out on December 4th via Blackjack Illuminist Records).
The sky is bleak, in this intense, claustrophobic aural treat, while Robert Smith‘s inspiration/influence is dispersed all over the place. Watch out for the atypical climax after the 3rd minute mark, but do not expect miracles. It’s gonna rain tonight….and wash it all away!
Not so good at farewells, but more than happy to have been part of this venture the last 4 years.
Vlimmer’s quote: “The protagonist of the 18-chapter/EP narrative is awaiting a revelation or finishing line, expecting his long and debilitating journey to have come to an end. He awaits it with full anticipation (“Vorfreude”). Lying in a somewhat weird room without any walls he doesn’t know whether he’s inside or outside of anything, and he feels that his body is heating up while strange orange skies are burning and vastly spreading across the ether, coming closer sweeping over everything.”
Almost exactly five years ago, Alexander Leonard Donat announced an 18-part series with the first two EPs of his project Vlimmer which back then was labelled “Darkgaze”. Now, with the release of “XIIIIIIII”, an exciting musical and literary journey of a young man getting lost in between madness and reality finds an end. There is an exciting metamorphosis behind Vlimmer as well as behind the protagonist Jagmoor Cynewulf – to be read in the book published at the same time, to be heard in a half hour of wave (new/cold/dark), post-punk, dream pop and shoegaze.
In the first few years, it appeared as if Vlimmer was operating out of the catacombs of an obscure laboratory in a centuries-old mansion that lay half-destroyed in the foggy gray-brown wasteland, while over the years the sound became more and more post-punk, urban, catchy and shimmering. The first four songs of “XIIIIIIII” prove just that, combining dark, dreamy, driving 80s mid-tempo wave and Gothic vibe with 70s horror chic and 90s indie. The interludes repeatedly suggest that the surface is breaking open threatening to uncover total madness, which is finally accomplished in the 11-minute closer “Kern”. It pulls the rug from under the protagonist’s feet while life flashes before his eyes. The different states of mind merge and implode. Slide guitar and violins suggest an obituary in the very last minute. Whether the final state is reached, enlightenment is achieved, the cause for his broken being is found -or the “hero” hangs in a state of eternal floating? Nobody can say …