Memory from childhood: scratching a crusted black sheet of paper with the wrong end of a paintbrush to reveal multi-coloured crayon fantasies beneath, subject to the desires of your five-year-old hands. Remember that feeling? It grates unexpectedly, the friction sends odd tingles up your arm, and the mess of swirls only becomes fathomable as an object-concept upon completion. You have to take a step backwards. This transition, from strange bodily reactions to slow realisation of a time and space that is specific in its abstractness, mirrors the first track of 6majik9’s album, Applied Psychosis.
One of a number of musical projects of Michael Donnelly, who once operated the Music Your Mind Will Love You label, 6majik9 lives within the Kyogle/Toowoomba tradition of soundscapes from beyond the city, of some form of what has been called psychedelia. That term, though, doesn’t quite capture the nature-infused textures on this album.
‘Light Rays Are Bent to Produce a Displaced Image’, the second track, moves away from the earthy and spectral opening track with layered atonalities more reminiscent of a floating space station. And then ‘Spinner Effect’ is textured and cog-like, and there are instruments being beaten, grated against and set into reverberations. At one point alarming bells are added. There is no timely silence here, rather a steady bombardment of noises to quietly agitate the listener.
Applied Psychosis sits in the witching hour, but there is also a sense of tugging away from it, of an almost dialectic approach to itself. Electronic and woody sounds clash: the tracks sway between environmental and technological evocations. I’m searching for some sort of hidden statement, a question, a declaration, within it. But there is no point, I suspect, and an absence of any of these is a strength rather than a failing. The plangency here will possibly set the listener at unease. Or maybe there is a statement, then. Maybe this album is a call to destruction of cities.
Label: Hashram Audio Concern
Release date: February 2013