Life After Death
"Rabit presents Life After Death, his third full-length album. The album was recorded in home studios in Houston, Texas and Paris, France, and is the culmination of two years of experiments in various forms of synthesis. Like Les Fleurs Du Mal (HALC 016LP, 2017), Life After Death marks a further advancement in the development of his own distinct musical language. Realized through genre-free expressions that pull inspiration from Surrealist art to DJ Screw, Enigma, and Japanese ambient artists like Hiroshi Yoshimura, the album has an exploratory, transcendental core. The project's artwork (a cut-up mandala?) can be seen as a reflection of the artist's kaleidoscopic approach to this pivotal new album. This is a transformative moment not only for the creator but for the listener as well. Rabit notes, "the probing and revisiting of genres in electronic music felt fetishistic and limiting and wasn't the best way for me to communicate." Instead, his approach reflects a wider, broader sound field. Rabit adds, "Exploring sound is alchemy if you want it to be, but I would be wary to explain these aspects of my work because there's a raw understated quality to the record that I want to respect. I think the occult term is interesting because I don't hear this explored in music in ways that I find relevant. I leave it to time and the intelligent listener to make up their own meaning." Life After Death is in some ways the sonic equivalent of an early Alejandro Jodorowsky movie, or maybe even like being guided through a tarot reading by Jodorowsky himself. It's an alchemical, mysterious and captivating listen, yet also futuristic. Rabit is thus further removed from his early work for labels like Tri Angle by building himself a more dreamlike, fluid universe. As he says, "Surrealism is still around in different ways; it is a feeling. I think there's something trying to communicate itself under the surface in the tools we all use to express. It's important to me to let that speak. This new way I create is more satisfying than ever because there are layers and feelings that reveal themselves over time." Artwork by Collin Fletcher. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy."
Les Fleurs Du Mal
"Les Fleurs Dul Mal is the absorbingly grotesque sophomore album by pioneering artist, DJ, and label owner Eric C. Burton, aka Rabit, who, along with regular collaborators such as Chino Amobi and Elysia Crampton, is in part responsible for defining the contemporary conflux of avant club, folk, and noise musics. On his follow-up to Communion (2015), Rabit indulges his fascinations with psychedelic themes in an ambitious attempt to locate his sense of self amid increasingly chaotic environments. The result is a personal milestone for the artist; a riveting tableaux of hyper sensual texture, color, and melody, forming a densely detailed and layered prism to best peer upon the abyss between his reality, your own, and a shared consensual hallucination. In aesthetic and intent, Rabit boldly embraces the vacuum left by the late, great Coil; realizing a genre-agnostic consolidation of folk, new age, drone, and noise tropes transcended through acousmatic processing and modular synthesis, in this case fittingly provided by erstwhile Coil member Drew McDowell. In the process, he potentially triangulates Les Fleurs Dul Mal with records by fellow Coil fiends, Elysia Crampton's Demon City (2016) and Chino Amobi's Paradiso (2017), who all essentially project bold, new, independent worlds unto themselves which find common links in Coil's canon. Unfolding in 12 movements, like some future classical tragedy, Rabit gestures his sounds with a remarkable freedom of rhythmic meter and freehand strokes that belies its meticulous construction below the surface. Cecilia's vocals and the sharp strings of opener "Possessed" suggest the spirit of Baudelaire's text heard at street level, while the dissonant stress of "Bleached World" -- a secret weapon 'til now -- expresses a beautifully bittersweet anguish, and the recursive curdle of "Ontological Graffiti" catches in the throat with uncannily emotive effect. "The Whole Bag" locates his firmest dembow rhythms, but buried under collapsing sidereal pressure, and Cecelia's return in closer "Elevation" perfectly emulates something like a new age tristesse, which defines the record's humanity in the face of such uncompromising synthetic sensations. RIYL: Coil, Elysia Crampton, Autechre, Visionist. Artwork by Collin Fletcher; Photo by Lane Stewart. Mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy."