BHAAVITAAH BHUUTASTHAH - REMEMBERING IN THE COSMIC MANIFESTATION
Returning to the great O...
Daydreams saturated with Distortion
Endless Circles of Circles in a Room: I was lying on my Bed. Motionless. At the same Time moving forward in Acceleration, in a Tunnel. Turbulence. At the End of the Tunnel there was always Freedom, floating in open Air… At the same Time in my Room, sparsely lit. Cosmic Chaos. I was working on a Painting; my Hands still dirty from the Day before. The Painting contained many Layers from being overpainted over and over again. My History contained in Layers of now unseen Visions. Like Memories. One Year Before I was in Front of the same Painting. In a different Room. In a different Town. I had been working on this Paintying before… It was like painting my own Life over and over again. The Board was too small to just contain only a small Fraction…
I woke up in Violence. Two Hands were holding me while two other Hands were punching me. Around me it was black and cold and I saw about thirty staring Faces around me. Apathetic, curious Gazes in a Mixture of Disgust and Bloodlust. Three old Friends were in between them. Their Faces were partly cowardish and ashamed for letting their Friend fall. When the Fight was over, they picked me up and dragged me Home. It was the last I saw from them. It is interesting how sharp you can see all the Details of an Event while your Consciousness is slipping away. In the Crowd I recognized a Girl who I’d seen walking through Town regularly.
The other Day I stumbled upon H. We had been very close Friends once in another Life. I still feel Friendship. Although our Friendship was lost a long Time ago. He only knew me the first 19 Years of my Life. The last ones of these were pretty hectic. It is funny to know when someone thinks of you, he sees an Image from Days long gone. I exist in many Realities. His Memory of Me is as real as is the current Me. Today I saw Me again. Upon Goodbye, we embraced. Again in another Life, me and A, my dear best Friend were walking through Town. A had committed Suicide a few Years later. He was only 13 when he had laid himself on the Tracks of a coming Train. The Universe ended then. His. And Ours as well. Just a Couple of Days back I was standing in front of his Grave for the first Time in 34 Years. His Mother was buried in the same Grave just two Years back. His Father’s Name was already engraved on the Stone, while still alive. I will always love you, A. My fragile Italian Friend with vibrant blue Eyes.
180 Grams Vinyl
Released: 11 December 2015
Available at Le Souffleur and the following Places:
Swill Radio (USA)
Tochnit Aleph / Rumpsti Pumsti (Germany)
Listen to Excerpts here: SOUNDCLOUD
It has been quiet around Raymond Dijkstra, although most likely he was active but much of what he does moves outside of our scope, being highly limited releases on vinyl, between two and five copies (this seems an usual intro these days when I write about him; I used something similar in Vital Weekly 972 when I reviewed his previous record). Dijkstra has released a lot of LPs in the past years, solo as well as with Astra, a duo with Timo van Luijk and with La Poupee Vivante with Timo van Luijk, together with Arlette Aubin and Frederique Bruyas or with the latter as Nivriti Marga. Now it's time for yet another new alter ego, Bhaavitaah Bhuutasthah - and I have no idea how to pronounce that. Dijkstra, who calls himself Le Ray here (so really two alter-egos really), plays Moog IIIp, mellotron and 'percüs' and with one side called 'Remembering In The Cosmic Manifestation' and the other 'Kosmische Vernichtung', one could, actually quite rightly, think, mister Dijkstra has gone down the hippie trail. While I haven't cracked the complete cosmic egg, I think especially the music of Popol Vuh is of particular inspiration here. I could wait with writing about this album, until our in-house expert on Popol Vuh (our very own Dolf Mulder), drops by and ask for his expert opinion, but over the years I heard a bit myself, and the percussive sounds of Bhaavitaah Bhuutasthah (mainly bongos or congas) are coupled with some very interesting synthesizer music come quite close in terms of inspiration. In the second part of 'Kosmische Vernichtung' there is no percussion, but clusters of synthesized sounds stabbed together. In the other three pieces (each title has two parts), Dijkstra has a more cosmic approach with his part abstract synthesizer parts and part melodic bits, along with the rolling percussion. In the first part of 'Kosmische Vernichtung', this is all quite orchestral, while 'Remembering In The Cosmic Manifestation' is a somewhat more open piece of music with Dijkstra spacing notes on his synthesizer, set against a drone on another synth and rolling around percussion. All of this is actually quite rough in terms of recording and production. No easy bouncing arpeggios in this cosmos, but rusty space ships on a dark psychedelic trip. More like Popol Vuh indeed in the early years than Tangerine Dream, if you get my drift. I enjoyed this shift in musical direction a lot. I have no idea if Dijkstra is planning to keep this going for a while; maybe a film maker should jump in and use this as a soundtrack and maybe we see Dijkstra's career take off in a similar was mister Fricke's? That would be awesome. (FdW)(Vital Weekly)
The newest cosmic excursion Lp by Raymond Dijkstra, here playing Mellotron, Moog IIIp and Percussion. His mixture of electronics and Mellotron with assorted percussions conjures up visions of deep, mystical emotion: spacy, abrasive, frightening, and beautiful all at once. (Fabio Carboni)(SoundOhm)
Bhaavitaah Bhuutasthah (from here on, referred to as BB) is Le Ray, who turns out to be Raymond Dijkstra. No squeaking glass this time. Instead the two side long, two part suites concentrate on Moog and Mellotron explorations with (at times) heavily phased hand percussion. This sounds like a replication of a hippy Krautrock experiment from the late 60s and in some sense it is, as the sound is vaguely intact, but the atmosphere is turned on its head. Even at its most even tempered, the music seems a little dangerous and sinister, not at all filled with 'happy vibes'. Kosmische Vernichtung (side B) is pretty scary with ebbing and flowing waves of atonality. Raymond's music is always of interest to me and this is another fine addition to his eccentric catalog. Nice gatefold sleeve as the cherry on the pie. (Scott Foust)(Swill Radio)
THE WIRE MAGAZINE
Raymond Dijkstra makes music in his own name and under various aliases. He releases recordings of it through his own Editions Le Souffleur imprint as and when he believes the outside world is ready for them. Dijkstra's Ce Phénomène négatif d'une manière satisfaisante is subdued and dark- hinting at something far more disturbing without revealing what it is. As with all of his releases, Dijkstra has created this through the set co-ordinates of short artist manifesto imperatives. Presumably there's a good reason why he has released this one under his supposedly original name. Ce Phénomène designates limits for it's drama and the instrumentation for it's making.
Perhaps Dijkstra used different pseudonyms to bracket off different projects as a way to set himself different tasks for each of them. The flavour of his latest release under pseudonym Bhaavitaah Bhuutasthah, Remembering In The Cosmic Manifestation, allows for a wider orchestration then the Raymond Dijkstra set.
The project comes with an explanation on the label's website, written in archaic English. The second side - or "Face B: Kosmische Vernichtung" as it is listed - is of particular note, featuring unsettling, synthesized orchestrations verging on kitsch Hitchcock noir. The lush, familiar warmth of strings takes on a warped quality, like those found on Broadcast's Berberian Sound Studio soundtrack. Sounds resembling a lion's roar and the clink of a chain puncture the surging noise. This plays disturbing contrast to the hiccuping, John Hassel-like slap of drum skin bracing the first track on this side from beginning to end. (Lottie Brazier) (The Wire Magazine)
THE SOUND PROJECTOR
Here’s another new record by Raymond Dijkstra. At least I think it is. This vinyl LP is credited to Bhaavitaah Bhuutasthah, the music is credited to Le Ray, while the artworks and sleeve note are credited to RD. It’s fair to assume that these are all aliases for the same fellow; last time he descended upon our four walls, he was calling himself NIvRITTI MARGA, an act which he realised with the help of Timo van Luijk (from Noise-Maker’s Fifes) and Frédérique Bruyas, who added grisly voice effects. Unwritten rule followed by a few avant-garde acts: keep one step ahead of everyone by throwing them off the scent with exotic aliases. It worked for Fantômas, that pulp fiction anti-hero criminal mastermind so beloved of the Surrealists.
Over the years I keep finding myself in a love-hate relationship with Dijkstra’s work, forcing myself to hear it and drag myself to the writing block afterwards; even he was moved to email me with the observation, “although you don’t really seem to like my music, you’re nonetheless one of the best review writers I know.” Remembering In The Cosmic Manifestation (EDITIONS LE SOUFFLEUR LS111) is, for the first side at least, one of his more approachable records. The two parts of the title track appear on side one, and it’s a couple of moog / percussion workouts that I’d venture to say might even appeal to fans of the first Popol Vuh LP, Affenstunde. Matter of fact the very word “Cosmic” in the title is probably a nod in that very direction. But it’s far darker and colder than the sunlit worlds of Florian Fricke. It’s as though Florian had turned to diabolry and satanism instead of Tibetan Buddhism. I say this because the music is so wayward and distorted; although Le Ray comes close to playing recognisable chords or melodies, it’s as though he deliberately stops short of doing so, refusing that safe resolution into a comforting E-C-G chord shape. Likewise, his sonic treatments keep the listener off balance here; distortion, wayward interventions, and other devices to disrupt the surface calm keep on bobbing to the surface, like so many unwelcome monsters rising up from the bottom of the lake. Even those conga rhythms which could have added a transcendental effect and contributed to a meditative frame of mind are poisoned somehow; they smack of decadence, ether-infused trance states, unwholesome nightmares. So far, “approachable” does come with a caveat or two. Side two turns out to be the hideous twin brother of the relatively benign side one. Both parts of ‘Kosmische Vernichtung’, especially the interminable part I, are the sort of indigestible and unsettling music I usually associate with Dijkstra. The title says as much. You may be cheered by the sight of the word “Kosmische” and assume we’re in for some more Popol Vuh related treats, but it translates as “cosmic destruction”, indicating at least three related aspects to Dijkstra’s fiendish plan. He aims to destroy krautrock music; he aims to completely reverse any benefit that may have been conferred by his efforts on side one; and he aims to create a soundtrack for the apocalypse. Yes, I know there’s probably not a single Industrial musician who hasn’t boasted about their apocalyptic ambitions since 1980 onwards, but Dijkstra comes pretty close to opening the Seventh Seal with this horrifying melange of sound he’s unleashed. Produced I think with mellotron added to the moog and percussion, said mellotron probably contributing the ultra-queasy string effect that sounds like a hundred classical musicians being sick at once, ‘Kosmische Vernichtung Part I’ manages to stay just on the right side of coherence long enough to pull you in to its hateful vortex of chaos and despair. Every discordant moment is probably planned and executed with a ruthless precision, the composer knowing exactly what buttons to push to induce existential terror in the listener’s head. You’ll think you can stand it at first, then after ten minutes you’ll be begging for mercy. I can’t really say I enjoyed listening to this side of swirling, monstrous noise, but it’s a work of genius. Evil genius, that is.
The cover art to this record continues the series of photo-collages we have already seen on Nivritti Marga and the Santasede 10-inch, also on this label and another Dijkstra collaborative project. Through the simple expedient of cutting up images of a lushly-furnished room, the artist strikes cold fear into the heart of the onlooker. It’s a deliberate attempt to subvert the normality of the bourgeoisie, through a direct attack on “good taste” and the traditions embodied in fabrics, wallpaper, and antiques. In the same way that the music challenges you to find a way into its illogical patterns and pathways, this impossible room looks at first sight like a place where a human being could enter, but the more you examine it the more you realise it’s an impossible, nightmare dimension, full of broken perspectives and awkward shapes. It’s not too far-fetched to suggest a connection could be found with the music on ‘Kosmische Vernichtung Part I’, those parts where classical orchestral traditions are being parodied and grotesquely mutated into a sickening noise. What these collages do for a hundred stately homes and luxury hotels across Europe, Dijkstra’s music is doing for the conventions of classical music. Once again I must liken him to that most famous of 20th century art movements, and consider him one of the most outright Surrealist artists working today. From 10th February 2016.(Ed Pinsent)(The Sound Projector)