Philip Sulidae – History of Violence (CD Unfathomless)


A hybrid between remote field recording and electronic soundscape, History of Violence succeeds to confuse, scare and intrigue the interested listener, and this all with the aural equivalent of tiny microscopic debris.

I remember learning about a theory called morphic resonance. The theory is based on the hypothesis that molecules, atoms and genes have a memory, kinda like if events get carved into DNA, a memory formed of things happened to species (earlier) in time. Although pseudoscience, if only something holds true, the places where Australian-based composer has recorded History of Violence, most likely will be a desolate place, where sadness reigns more than anything else. Australian’s Belanglo State Forest where this was created, or at least some of the field recordings used, has been the operating area for Australian mass murderer Ivan Milat, who killed and buried seven young people in the early nineties.

At first, the feel of a sunburned desolate area, extremely calm and silent. Extremely low volumes, uncovering nearly inaudible filth, protecting the area from human interference once more. Second listen reveals lots of dynamics and when loud enough the understanding creeps in that something might very wrong. Not exactly power electronics, a genre known for its awkward tribute-paying to mass slaughterers, but certainly not less unnerving, just in a different way. Low volume seems to be part of the experience, as if the hidden message is there but it had to stay below the radar, evoking atmospheres of suddenly abandoned campfires, solitary walks and getting lost in unknown territory, adrenaline levels increasing as twilight arrives unexpectedly early. History of Violence plays mainly at the subconscious level, resulting in the strange perception that, once finished, one is not sure what really has occurred, other than that it is something to experience again. PvdG.