Holotrop - Dead Bird Calling
Since time immemorial, it has always been the role of the shaman to go into an altered state of consciousness and track down where the soul fled to in the alternate realities and return it to the body of the client. This sacred process was always well hidden from the inquiring interest of uninitiated seeking to reveal its secrets. But with the progress of mankind and the discovery of different artificial techniques which could enable the achievement of this state, the influence of shamanism could have been rethought completely. Back in the middle of the previous century, LSD trips and other powerfully emotional experiences enabled courageous researches to create a cartography of the deep human psyche. One of the basic concepts which was established by the psychiatry during the research process in those times, was a concept of a holotropic mode of consciousness that had to do with states which aim towards wholeness and the totality of existence; the holotropic as a characteristic of non-ordinary states of consciousness such as meditative, mystical, or psychedelic experiences.
And of course, keeping in mind the holotropic theory, the inspiration for the name of the ritualistic psychedelic project of german resident Tino Seibt becomes completely clear. The musician and sound therapist from Berlin, who draws on holotropic ideas, shaman's knowledge and his own trips, both in the real world and the psychedelic ones, as well as teachings of altered states of consciousness, tries to use sounds and music to activate deep unconscious and superconscious levels of the human psyche which in normal conditions are unattainable. In his latest album “Dead Bird Calling” Tino adopts the idea of “escape of mankind" which aims for an early self-destruction of the human race and translates it into the coldest and the most obscure sound possible.
With regards to the concept behind this record, Mr. Seibt pushes the pessimism and misanthropy to the extreme. The track names like “Elegy of a Dying World”, “Death Meditation”, and others speak for themselves dictating the atmosphere of a complete decay. The composition “Anthropofugal Existence” carries a reference to the philosophical ideas of Ulrich Horstmann which reinforce this feeling even more. "Anthropofugal", meaning fleeing from mankind, defines the whole ambiance of the entire album where each tune is permeated with a freezing attitude of nihilism and extreme distaste for the world. A combination of mechanical drones and ritualistic percussion in “Elegy of a Dying World” throws the listener into the pit full of sharp knives and glass debris. A constant feeling of being in some kind of art installation doesn’t leave me throughout the whole record; it becomes even stronger when the artist adds sampled distorted voices in the tracks like “Behind All Minds” and “Ghost Procession”.
It is a grave situation, the time that we live in, religion and tradition dictate minds and the free man is an outsider to the world. Our society demands of us a form of submission, shrouded by what we call “values”, “morals”, “virtue” and lastly “goodness”. Nihilism is an attempt to free us of the chains we are born with in this day and age, and Tino uses the idea as a tool to transmit a complete detachment from the modern values, balancing on the brink of a self-severity. A progressive festering of a climate of despair in “Widergeburt” manipulates with a consciousness of the listener on the highest sensual level, seamlessly, but insistently leading to the conclusion of denial that life has any inherent meaning or purpose.
As a matter of a fact, Horstmann puts forth the theory that mankind has been pre-programmed to eliminate itself in the course of history—and also all its memory of itself—through war (thermonuclear, genetic, biological), genocide, destruction of its sustaining environment, etc. However, I was lucky enough to be able to witness these visions through the music of Holotrop thanks in particular to special aesthetics and spirit that the record was crafted with, proving the ability of sound to manipulate with a mental state of a person. While most of the compositions don’t preserve a kind of a continuity, in general, the record sounds unified and whole, bringing a truly immersive atmosphere, filling the room with a sterile and icy ambiance.Apr 19 2018
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance
Share this review
Buy this release