Alone on a big, long jetty with the scarlet sun far on the horizon ready for the ‘fall’. The sea below is tame. And you decide to take that long walk towards that melting, dying sun. It’s only you, the sea and the sun. The triad of an end to come. The moribund is walking with confidence, like a newborn unaware of the potential danger. No last wish, no thoughts, no regrets, just a task to fulfil. After numerous steps towards that ‘bloody’ sun, a tiny baby stands in front of him. Freezes for a while. Takes the decision to proceed towards the baby… They become one entity with the red sun on the background.
“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.”
(J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Return of the King“)
Suddenly, the silence is broken by the deafening chanting of black-wing angels chanting an ultimate psalm: Vlimmer‘s ‘Zielzyklus‘. And it goes like this…
Vlimmer about ‘Zielzyklus’:
‘We’re all the same. No matter where we come from or who we are. We all have the same fate, and there’s only one way, one direction — down. But the song title, “Zielzyklus”, also hints at the everlasting cycle that life and death belong form. For every dying person going there’s a new born coming. Well, at least roughly. The song starts in a liquid place, maybe a womb, and it ends just when we think we’re about to understand the purpose of life. “20 metres before the goal”, the goal of life or a wondrous revelation.‘
In November 2015 Berlin-based one-man project Vlimmer headed off with the first two parts of an EP-series which he claimed to be as just the beginning of a huge journey based on the story of a young man trying to literally travel back in time to find out about the circumstance of his birth and what made him the way he is as an adult. On the 15th of 18 parts the story takes a hopeless turn, with the protagonist fleeing from the overwhelming, disturbing past he had barely entered, and – in an attempt to return to the present – gets stuck in a bleak place without any notion of time and space. All he gets is a hint of softly lit stars and black canvas.
“XIIIII” is about surrendering to the overwhelmingly abysmal puzzle that is life. The songs themselves are an emotional manifest made of a wave skeleton which is wrapped in post-punk flesh and a soul that is equally dreamy as it is sorrowful. Yet, don’t let this fool you, the opening two songs, “Augenlicht” and “Rasenstarre”, and the closer, “Umnachtung”, further explore the electro pop paths that “Bankrott” (from EP 14 earlier in 2019) had walked before. They are catchy and less bound to the gloom than previous parts of the EP-series, yet foggy modern psychedelic tunes celebrating the acceptance of failure. However, the center of “XIIIII” is a nervous, feverish breakdown. The doomy “Zielzyklus” almost comes to a halt with its slowed down drums and witchy synths, while the hyperactive “Fluchtlauf” adds portions of noise and shoegaze to its EBM outfit supporting the feeling of being hunted down.
There’s no turning back now, and even though the finish line ribbon is still untouched, there’s no way this leads to a happy end.