Inbrünstiges Manifest

der Melancholie und der Verzweiflung

Released in 1996 in Germany, Die Tür Ist Zu (The Door is Closed) contains
German versions of Helpless Child from the following year’s Soundtracks
for the Blind and I See Them All Lined Up from Gira’s Drainland of the year
before. Alternate takes of Surrogate Drones and You Know Nothing, an
acoustic live radio recording of Mother/Father and live versions of Your
Property and Soundsection make up the rest of the album.

After the 9-minute orchestral introduction Ligeti's Breath, Gira's solemn
German narration encompasses subjects like breasts, existence and
mother's milk. First squalling then rousing guitars and drums lift the tempo
before giving way to an austere symphonic section which intensifies to a
Wagnerian level. Throughout, the constantly advancing and receding
drones create remarkable modal shifts. The arrangement provides exactly
the right atmosphere for the heavily laden voice. I guess György Sándor
Ligeti’s Atmospheres and Lux Aeterna inspired this tour de force.

The German language adds expressive nuance to Swans’ lugubrious moods.
Ich Sehe Die Alle In Einer Reihe sounds more oppressive than I See Them All
Lined Up from Drainland. Gira’s monotone vocal with sing-song sections
supported by ambient winds and chimes, metallic clangs, bursts of
orchestral noise and grim imagery make it a masterpiece of menace.

Surrogate Drones and YRP are the London live recordings. The churning
Surrogate Drones has experimental drifting textures with inaudible
whispers and muffled distanced voices. The original of YRP on Cop (1984) is
called Your Property. Jarboe interprets this tempo-shifting song by
alternating spoken and bellowed vocals. Her melodic interpretation leaves
much more of a lasting impression.


You Know Nothing from White Light from the Mouth of Infinity here
becomes You Know Everything (Reprise 1991) as found on, or quite similar
to, the version on Various Failures. On this eerie lullaby Jarboe's backing
vocals frame the taped voice of a little girl in a similar way to the track Her
on Love of Life and Omniscience. The child goes "Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!
Bang!" An eruption of massed guitars ends the narration but the spectral
melody line returns in gentle vocalising.


The door finally closes on this atmospheric mid-nineties masterpiece with
Soundsection which is a live version of The Sound on Soundtracks. In its
gently undulating flow, Soundsection is more appealing than the studio
take, more sad than suffocating.


The musicians are Joe Goldring on bass, Larry Seven on double bass, Larry
Mullins on drums, vibraphone & percussion, Joe Goldring, Michael Gira and
Vudi of American Music Club on guitars and Jarboe on keyboards. Vocals by
Jarboe and Michael Gira.



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