Prurient, a categorical guise of Dominick Fernow, peels behind a grislier aspects of a tellurian condition within a bounds of sound music. He doesn’t usually speak about enterprise and hatred and pulling oneself in his music, he soaks those unequivocally feelings into his works. Within his large discography, dirty with limited-release tapes that can be frustrating to any would-be collector, are his “statement” records, that mostly deliver new elements that allege his artistic growth. Among these are 2006’s Pleasure Ground, where his talents for stroke unequivocally started to bloom, 2011’s Bermuda Drain, his blackened new call masterpiece, and 2013’s Through The Window, where he scarcely ditched sound for unknown-hours techno. Frozen Niagara Falls, Fernow’s latest double album, is really one of his “statement records,” and it brings behind many of a oppressive sound that faded divided from his some-more new works, though it’s conjunction a “return to form” nor a shelter into his early career. With Niagara, he’s taken strengths from his whole oeuvre to strech deeper into himself and furnish what might be his best record yet, one that brings all a accomplishment of sound and transcends them all a same.
Fernow’s changed behind to New York from L.A., where he was quickly a member of Cold Cave, and Niagara cements that return. There’s nothing of a techno of Window or any traces of his European adventures following his side plan Vatican Shadow‘s visit furloughed there, and usually some of Bermuda‘s bizzaro synth-pop. There are no remaining traces of Fernow a subterraneous seducer posting swanky selfies on OkCupid; on Niagara, he is once again a male station shirtless outward in a New York winter. The closest to anything imitative Bermuda is “Every Relationship Earthrise”, that would make for glorious darkwave if a hiccuping kick would reason still.
Fernow takes a collection many sound artists use as ends themselves and uses them to serve narratives and heighten a compositions. Take “Traditional Snowfall”, which starts off as a murder-romance fantasy—”I wish to slice out your reduce back/ And siphon a atmosphere out of your lungs/ And hang my hands around your neck/ And fall your throat/ And smash your thorax/ And lick you”—but turns into a musing on a ambiguity so prevalent in complicated love: “Friends are everywhere though I’m always leaving/ Dismantling us with rumors.” (Maybe some of a bar fatigue of Window stuck around after all.) Fernow takes that difficulty and buries it in a hisses and raging electronics, so that it bleeds by each component of a track. Huge blasts of immobile and hit mic disharmony come behind into a fore, a ardent and violent dance between beauty and ugliness. To work with contrasts like that, on that low a composition, is a monument in noise.
It might seem uncanny that Prurient would have “hits” or “fan favorites,” though they do exist. Fernow designed Niagara to be sprawling and cohesive, and there are churned competing possibilities for new ones here, opposite a spectrum. The initial would substantially be “Dragonflies to Sew You Up”, with percussion that resemble Godflesh‘s drum appurtenance apropos sentient and pang a panic attack. Beneath a barrage, blue synthesizers and pianos chime, hardly flourishing a mortar-fire of a percussion. In a lyrics, Fernow flips a book on how lust is portrayed in noise—it’s distant from a uncomplicated objectification that comes too mostly with big, rugged shrill music. There’s a conflicted pain when he screams, “IN AUGUST/ YOU’RE OVERDRESSED/ PLYWOOD BROKEN/ UP ON IMPACT.” A line like “I guarantee we will usually fuck prostitutes” might seem laughable on paper, though supplement in a context of Fernow’s outspoken performance, and it’s transparent he takes no pleasure from yelling such a thing.
Fernow’s synths sound both lusher and icier than they did on Drain, interjection to writer Arthur Rizk, famous for his work on Power Trip‘s Manifest Decimation, Inquisition‘s Obscure Verses for a Multiverse, and other important new steel and hardcore records. Fernow has pushed a boundary of what lo-fi can do—Pleasure in sold is a covenant to a beauty of buried synths—but with his grander ambitions, he indispensable a bigger sound, and Rizk’s contributions are so useful he might as good be Prurient’s second member. Niagara is Prurient’s many grown record, not usually for a length, though a courtesy to fact that Rizk provides.
Fernow’s strange vigilant for Niagara was to source all of a element acoustically, with no wiring during all. That would have been radical, even for him. Still, on initial listen, it is differing to hear acoustic guitars, supposing by Rizk and Fernow, in a commencement of “Greenpoint”, Niagara‘s rise New York song. From there, it descends into throbs of darkness, though that’s usually partial of a indicate of a song. While “Greenpoint” is about someone Fernow knew, when we review a lyrics my mind went to Oliver Sacks’ New Yorker essay on monologist Spalding Gray’s skirmish into irrevocable basin that led to his self-murder in 2004. Gray’s thoughts of self-murder always centered around drowning and his mother, whose possess self-murder figured heavily into his work, and it’s scary that “The East River isn’t regretful anymore we know/ That’s where a suicides go/ Or maybe that’s what we wish in a end/ To be churned together and reunited with your mother” are roughly as if they were about him. It’s specific nonetheless flexible, adding another covering of complexity as usually Fernow can.
Like “Greenpoint”, closer “Christ Among a Broken Glass” shows a side of Prurient that is infrequently overlooked: poignancy. It’s also a closest thing to Fernow’s strange prophesy for Niagara, that creates it an even some-more suitable ending. The sound of glow combines with a guitars, evoking a séance some-more than a campfire. Like “I Understand You”, a shutting lane from JK Flesh and Prurient’s Worship Is a Cleansing of a Imagination where frail glimmers of peace are eaten though forgiveness by squalling feedback, “Christ” reveals itself slowly. Niagara was available “in a suggestion of homelessness,” and Fernow’s lyrics in “Christ” constraint how winter brutalizes a homeless and how self-denial can make one seem messianic, generally when that figure is among a cheerless themselves. The man, “Jesus of cities,” becomes both some-more eminent and some-more vacant with each verse—”Cobbling together syllables/ Over a frostbitten tongue/ Trying to remember a prayers”—though this isn’t about pity, though about reality. Fernow’s inside vocals don’t even come in until tighten to a finish of a song, and they make his wordless stalker tinge on Window sound conspicuous in comparison. Who knew that one of a slightest loud Prurient songs would strike a deepest?
A double sound manuscript is a lot to take in, and Prurient’s never been about accessibility. He’s also not about excusable signifiers; he’s bigger than noise. He offers an endless, probing self-exploration that simply isn’t found in noise, metal, hardcore, energy electronics, whatever oppressive strain we can consider of. In that regard, Niagara is a landmark not usually in Prurient’s discography, though within impassioned music. His few utterances in “Falling Mask” sum adult a knowledge of a album, and of his physique of work: “What we do/ We entice pain/ It’s ok to be hungry/ Hunger is normal/ I’ll accommodate we there.” He knows Prurient isn’t for everybody, and that’s partial of a appeal, though if you’re not going to entice expansion and exhibit yourself, because bother?