Review: Izanasz – Fāl​-​gūsh

a3273076537_16Awake at 4am. Can’t sleep. Stranded between the day just passed and the day to come, unable to purge the obscure visions, thoughts and doubts that seize the times of stillness. Anxieties inflate to twice their normal size. Imagined sounds adopt the clarity of noises from the world outside. The hour-long composition Fāl​-​gūsh was largely recorded during these sleepless nights, perhaps as a means of unfastening the thinking mind from this swarm of nocturnal distraction, both to relieve the burden and to observe this brew of interferences from a disconnected distance. Recording offers a way to sweep this cognitive load away, and Fāl​-​gūsh is essentially built from the gunk that stuck to the brush.

The textures fall into two main categories, with many bleeding over the boundary between the two. The first category disrupts the onset of sleep: the constant throb and hum of passing planes, the shrill hiss of synthesised drills, the piercing beams of spotlights. These are the sounds that rupture the path to sleep. They press against my head, cutting through the softness of the night with serrated edges. The second category is the hallucinations of a logical mind running slack: the ambiences that teem and flow like spilt beakers of brightly-coloured paint, the reverse guitars that bloat and bend like hunks of gelatine, the melodies that arrive in slurs and woozy dissonances, veering dangerously between states of hope and horror. Little motifs bounce to the foreground like advert jingles that won’t leave me alone, while field recordings – little trinkets of daytime memory – slink around in the back, obscured by their own blurry, partial recall.

I never know if I’m about to enter a phase of psychedelic meltdown, or endure a sudden gravitational thickening, or hear the confessions of a guitar murmuring incoherently. The route ahead is never clear. In a note accompanying the record, Izanasz states: “Fāl-gūsh is the act of standing in a dark corner or behind a fence and listening to the conversations of passer-by, trying to interpret their statements or the subject of their dialogue as an answer to one’s questions.” In the case of this composition, the “passer-by” is the surreal monologue of Izanasz’s nocturnal self, captured so that it might be decrypted and rationalised during the day. Yet just as with the passer-by, what hope is there for the motives of its stranded, hallucinatory, netherworldly other to be comprehended in the light of day? Does Izanasz seek answers from a language that his diurnal self will never understand?