Review: Dominic Lash + Seth Cooke – Egregore

I’ve learned that the word “egregore” is an occult term, used to describe the autonomous nature of the “group mind”. It’s the idea that collective thought – i.e. the coming together of several people around a common objective – produces a distinct, immaterial entity in itself, transcending the mere accumulation of behaviours exhibited by the individuals within the group, seemingly residing outside this locus of collaborative exchange. The analogy to collective musical experiences is obvious, and feels particularly apt for a slow, collisional conjuring like this. While the physical composition of Egregore is simple – Dominic Lash on sparse, sedentary electronics, Seth Cooke on cymbals and microphones – the resultant sound has no edges. It’s a constant unravelling of microphone feedback, harmonic distress, overtonal gleaming, listener hallucinations…textures that both epitomise the materials from which they derive and completely abandon them, dragging me into the drones until I, too, feel as though I’ve been inducted into this infinite plume.

Perhaps one of the most potent aspects of Egregore is its relationship with duration and acquaintance. During one listen I pause for a toilet break, and upon my return the sound has drastically shifted. The tones that my mind opted to phase out of conscious experience are now present again, generating harmonic dialogues that weren’t there before (or at least, they weren’t apparent to me). We can pretend that this piece is really 59:35 in length, but such an assumption fails to account for this brittle sense of continuity that underpins this experience. Egregore is constantly obliterated and reborn – pathways of possibility are both paved and extinguished as drones fade in and out of my frame of hearing, recalibrating the dimensions of this collective entity as it fluctuates and self-corrects before the lens of perceptual uncertainty. There are no endings and beginnings – simply moments of recognition and moments of ignorance.