Croation Amor is the work of industrial/ambient innovator Loke Rahbek, whose last work couldn't be bought with money -- only a naked selfie of yourself. This one focuses a little less on a multi-faceted concept and is all experienced in the music: 'Caviar Glowing' is a journey through tortured textures and urgent synth melodies, hoping to capture the outsider's view of nightclub life in its dark but urgent tones.
LP £20.99 SHP5.5
LP on Sleeperhold Publications with an etched diptych by Scheltens & Abbenes. Edition of 350 copies.
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Loke Rahbek fucks with currency. For him it isn’t just bills and cheques and handshakes that involve money -- we spend what we’re willing to give of ourselves to others. To get sent a copy of his previous record, ‘The Wild Palms’, you would’ve had to send him a naked selfie of yourself, which he would have kept to himself like a signed receipt. It was a shocking gesture, but one many fans and curious newcomers were willing to respond to, showing that the exchange rate for art doesn’t necessarily have to be tied to our pre-established ideas of the industry. His new EP, ‘Caviar Glowing’, actually costs money, but also serves as another chilling look at economy and excess, a snapshot of nightclub gluttony impartially narrated by an outsider.
The front cover of ‘Caviar Glowing’ tells you exactly where Rahbek slots in with the partying elite: at the club, he’s disorientated and overstimulated, crashing to the floor like a heap of wine-glasses. The music he uses to soundtrack the night out is a far cry from what you’d expect -- it’s completely undanceable, often dissonant, mostly a scrapheap of ambient motifs clamouring for attention between Rahbek’s ears. It sounds like he’s reached an overwhelming point of no return in the club -- too many people, sounds and sights -- and his brain as short-circuited. At one point, a thrumming electro beat rises up from underneath the chilling vocal samples and coldwave synth layers, happening in excruciating slow motion -- like he’s trying to get out but can only get caught up. Where a beat might bend and break in a club tune, building like an EDM roller-coaster before screams, the climax of “Tonic Water Bridge” is hellish, the sound of escapism becoming a trap.
Where club music would usually shoot off in the next direction, done with one song and ready for the next, “Tonic” bleeds violently into the completely ambient “Goddess of Ecstasy Stoned to Death”, which works off an oscillating drone and the sounds of a typewriter nattering away. Rahbek wrote that ‘Caviar Glowing’ is about “being in a place, knowing that you are supposed to be somewhere else”, and these samples prove it. His headspace is as a songwriter and abstract artist, and it makes the club -- with all its money-spinning intuitions and spontaneous crawl spaces, between the toilets and the bar -- inhabitable. It’s another case of Rahbek in the establishment but not of it, of trying to make some space for the rest of us in a world where everything costs a little bit of our soul.
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