There is grief, exultation and relief inherent in belonging to community. Re Munus reflects on the tone of deep gravity with which the re munisation of the de munised is unravelling. The generations which dismantled their social contract, achieved immunity, revoked solidarity.
Severe circumstances foment collectivity, suffering and empathy, interrupting the ethereal dream of social weightlessness. Re Munus sketches sensations and observations during a time of reorientation, rediscovery of lived sensibility on a relational scale. An encounter with sensations which we had said defined us—the tangibility of which we had forgotten, believed to be confined to the past. There is tension between the physical withdrawal and lived intensity which permeates these works.
Personal drift. There is a multitude of presences guiding you through this record as a listener, not without their own doubts as to where they are leading you. A murky social space. Time-compressed club experiences within layered acoustic dimensions; consolidated, captured and played back into the same space. I am sitting in several rooms simultaneously. Death metal screams in an Animal Crossing world modelled on our own.
The choral rush of ‘Million Dollar Cowboy’ from Lugh’s Hélico EP (2018) re-appears again in ‘Braises’ and ‘Free Fall’, deeper and re-figured. Sometimes the record also haunts itself—each element heard having been through a process so long and many-staged, it’s as though it has already lived.
These compositions hold within them a flawed attempt to communicate on every level. The desire of language as expressed through music—towards shared meaning. Paradoxically voiced and voiceless, it denies textual, verbal description, instead crying out through the cracks in forming its own liquid tongue. Clone choirs simultaneously rehearse in an open space below. A slow walk through this spectacle. It’s an anguished record as much as it is at times tranquil. The movement between voices detached and embodied becomes playful—often warping them far beyond recognisability.
Beautiful artefacts. Stomach churns in the face of a burnt-out horizon. Cantering & sneezing. Air is driven into the corners and creases of a gold-plated, reverberant structure. The neural network claps to keep itself in time. Gutter Synthesis organ lament; tears of the duffing oscillators. There are moments on this release when tensely divergent fragments are barely held together. The prominent human voice mixing with the heavily re-sampled voice—it’s an incredible lift. Superimposed night and day. Sonic creatures living within the material, sharing time and space. Tenderness and together-ness.
Michael Speers and Olan Monk
released October 23, 2020
Music by Lugh O’Neill
Vocals on ‘Vertiginous Leap’ and ‘Free Fall’ performed by Marie Requa Gailey
Artwork, graphic and product designed by Zuzana Pabisova
Mastered by Ali Najafi
Underwater recordings from Zuzana Pabisova’s underwater sports camera feature on ‘El Rocio’
The ‘Gutter Synth’ designed by Tom Mudd features on ‘Americans’, ‘Irony, Chastity, Obedience’ and ‘Index Veri’