REVIEW: Anakrid, Rapture of the Deep, Stereonucleosis

Posted April 5th, 2007 by eric

Anakrid’s follow-up to the heavily percussive Father is a deliberate departure both in theme and substance. Rapture of the Deep is darker and even more claustrophobic, avoiding the former record’s primeval tribalism in favor of a thicker aural landscape that eschews modern techniques. You won’t hear any electronic bleeps or flutters, as Anakrid’s methods are a little more old school. He composes using cassette scraps, homemade instruments, and found-sounds, which evoke an organic texture, compared to many of today’s laptop experimentalists. Yes, Nurse with Wound, Stockhausen, and Coil all make convenient reference points, but Anakrid’s strain of evil is, perhaps, even more ominous.

The focus on death is obvious on every level, bordering on the obsessive. In this case, you absolutely can judge a record by its cover, as the drowning girl draped in blue-black speaks directly to the sounds inside. The drones build in tension as the record progresses like some sort of distant gamelan transposed into a buzzing white noise behind a Lynch film. The first side of the record is a calmer beast that plays out as though being heard through gauze, setting the stage for the crackle of what lies ahead. Hollow, howling winds occasionally suspend the tension only to be racked by a clanging cacophony. Anakrid’s goal here is the mystery of fear without fully realizing its potential. Any payoff or climax would simply ruin the game.

Chris Bickel is the man behind Anakrid, whose history in underground punk (IN/HUMANITY, Guyana Punch Line) has always superseded his more experimental side- that is until recently. Without any bands to front, Bickel is focusing full-time on Anakrid, recently signing a deal with Beta-lactum Ring records, home to the like-minded Nurse with Wound and Current 93. This record and its predecessor, Father, were both released as limited edition, vinyl-only pressings of 350, never to be repressed. This was done not to play into some sort of pretentious collector’s game, but, rather, as a practical statement of this type of music’s potentially and legitimately small audience.

Bickel’s already recorded the next two Anakrid releases, which will see a wider distribution thanks to Beta-lactum Ring. So, try to get your hands on Rapture of the Deep before it’s gone forever.

Tags: album-review

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 K.E. Revis // Apr 8, 2008 at 6:57 am

    Great album. I have copies of this for sale if anyone needs one at BXR RECORDS.