Review: Amnertia – Spider Hashish

Just as Lumen places its central character in the midst of the barely explainable – breaching the bizarre with one foot on the periphery of reason, leading to a murky swirl of abstract rationalisations and haunts of self-doubt – Spider Hashish reveals only flashes of human origin, both in terms of the source of its ideas and the actions used to birth the sounds themselves. At times I feel like I’m watching a blanket of snow crumple into my car windscreen (static collapsing as thick and partly-melted blocks, crumpling one section at a time, while shards of reverse cymbal zip past the windows on either side), as if hearing an environment cave inward on my ears rather than the thoughts of a composer projected outward into sound. Is inspiration birthed from the amalgamation of synaptic flashes, or do we stride into the abstract as it already exists, inside an inter-dimensional void, awaiting the imagination to wrongfully claim authorship?

Lumen’s main character seems caught in the confusion of a compulsive and mysterious bout of inspiration, either the product of an infiltrative external energy or the result of the mind’s darker recesses whirring into life; similarly, Spider Hashish sometimes sounds like a futuristic machine gargling and humming all by itself, rotating clockwise and counter-clockwise simultaneously, either the field recording of a Martian factory or the sonic output of Hitchings in a moment of dislocated rationale, in which the more chaotic and unusual collisions of thought momentarily stifle the voice of everyday reason. As such, the foreground quivers like alien lungs rising and falling, or Jupiter’s clouds congealing into viscous, treacle-esque clumps.