Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words - Lost In Reflections (Killer Pimp, 2009)

Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words - What I Wouldn't Give To Feel Alive

Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words is one Thomas Ekelund who created Lost In Reflections after being diagnosed with a "near crippling mental disease." How long after I don't know. All I know is that this was recorded in 05/06 and there have been many Dead Letters releases since then. Not that I think that context is necessary to fully appreciate Lost In Reflections. It helps, but it's not going to make or break the album.

Listening to Lost In Reflections is a strange journey of dynamic drone. However you don't realize just how strange until it's over. The first song, "The Room Seems Empty Without You," is a real slow burner. Something from way out west, like you've been dragging your feet through Death Valley for days on end with no water. It could be the foundation for some Godspeed song except here there's no grandiose climax (not yet). It's just you, the heat, and the endless horizon of sand and sky.

"Lost & Losing" goes from desert to ocean as you're floating face up, being dazzled by the sun beams shimmering through the water, listening to all the pops and cracks of the crustaceans scurrying along the sandy floor. Then "What I Wouldn't Give To Feel Alive" keeps you underwater, although now you're closer to death, hearing every little detail. Each guitar pluck echoes through the sea as if glimpsing a whale's heartbeat from miles away.

After you've made your way through the water, you become detached from Earth and drift through space. The stars buzz with their solar signals and the dust of the universe flows through your ears. And all of this up until now, going from land to sea to air, was the quest for "Himmelschreibenden Herzen." And the monumental 19 minute closer is absolutely worth that voyage. It's like traveling through a black sun, getting closer and closer to the core. Deafening bliss. Terrifying monstrous shrieking dark drone. Beautiful heavenly sunshine euphoria. Completely fucking amazing.

Lost In Reflections is something I couldn't even begin to imagine making. It's a record so deep and beautiful that I can hardly wrap my brain around it. This is of such high caliber, I'm surprised it's not exploding all over the place. Dead Letters should be a name up there with Fennesz and Eno. If Reflections wasn't the record to do it, I can't wait to hear the one that will.

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