Apart from these reservations placed upon the kind of relationship more or less intimate that I should maintain with you, my mouth is ready at no matter what hour of the day to exhale like an artificial gale the flood of lies exacted strictly from each human by your vainglory from the moment that the bluish dawn arises seeking light in the satin folds of the twilight, even as I, excited by the love of virtue, seek the good.
Numbered Edition of 200
Innersleeve with French and English textsheet
Timo van Luijk
*Saleté ~ Nivritti Marga
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English Translation Saleté
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NIvRITTI MARGA ~ s/t (LP) (2013)
NIvRITTI MARGA (LP by Edition Le Souffleur)
The sound artist Raymond Dijkstra is highly regarded by many. I admit I have always found his work, what little I heard, extremely austere and difficult to process. Around 2008 he sent us two of his hand-made art objects releases Die Sonne and Die Wille. which resembled case-bound books in black buckram, and were both as foreboding as a necromancer’s spell book. More recently, we received an LP by NIvRITTI MARGA on 9th July 2013 and this is mostly played and performed by Dijkstra with the help of Timo van Luijk, the Belgian player who I associate with Noise-Maker’s Fifes and the droney art-trio Onde; and Frédérique Bruyas, who contributed the voice work to the record. At any rate, it’s more eventful than the ultra-minimal and perplexingly cryptic LPs I heard in 2008, which isn’t to say it’s exactly “listenable”. On one level, Nivritti Marga (ÉDITION LE SOUFFLEUR) is a spoken-word record showcasing selected texts of the Comte de Lautréamont, the 19th-century French poet who wrote Les Chants De Maldoror and had such a big influence on the Surrealists (and later, the Situationists it seems). I suppose André Breton and his crew tended to favour anything that was an affront to polite society, and with his fixations on dirt and filth and dung and parasites and nasty insects living in the dung, coupled with his apparent wish to annihilate the entire human race, Lautréamont fit the bill and was instantly elected as a poet maudit by the Surrealist cabal. I’m not here to tell you how Raymond Dijkstra interprets these bizarre texts, but this record of his disturbs and troubles the mind as soon as the needle is dropped. Eerie formless semi-musical noises produced by means unknown are set out in a lurid, spooked-up framework enhanced with judicious smears of grisly echo; it’s electro-acoustic music creeping out from the most extreme regions of the composerly soul. On top of this disjunctive and tuneless musical arrangement, the voice of Bruyas is dropped in, remorselessly intoning the texts (spoken in French, although printed translations are provided) in a crisp, unemotional manner; to add to the general malaise, the tape of his voice has been speeded-up ever so slightly to make it less human, and more like the voice of a malignant goblin spitting out curses against the world.
But this isn’t an especially shocking record, on the surface. Dijkstra executes his plan without any outright sonic violence, and in fact the work is not especially noisy, nor explosive in its emotional range. Instead, it remains distant and cold to the point of reaching near-zero temperatures, and very few familiar toe-holds for the intrepid listener can be found as we try to scale this forlorn, rocky peak of alienation. The sense of disjuncture extends to the sleeve collage; a “tasteful” array of antique chairs, furnishings and stucco walls has been shattered, through cut-ups, negative images, and tilted horizons, to induce instant visual nausea at first sight. This monochrome image puts me in mind of Last Year in Marienbad, and could almost be read as a still from that cinematic work which arguably carries the torch of surrealism into the latter half of the 20th century. In both music and imagery, I would guess that Raymond Dijkstra is attempting to undermine all that’s bourgeois, safe and mainstream, doing so by subverting normality; the record is a nightmarish parody of classical chamber music, and the cover art is pretty much a direct attack on our cosy homes – by way of the centuries-old European traditions of furnishings and decor. In doing this, I’ve no doubt that he aligns himself 100% with the nihilistic spirit of Comte de Lautréamont. Outside of that, I don’t pretend to understand one iota of what this record proposes, but I’m still feeling quite sickened after a single listen to its inhuman tones, and the memory of what I heard brings an involuntary shudder to my pallid flesh. If any of this appeals, by all means check out this disturbing and marginal art statement. (Ed Pinsent )(The Sound Projector)
NIvRITTI MARGA (LP by Edition Le Souffleur)
Together Raymond Dijkstra and Frederique Bruyas already released a CD, centered around 'Les Chants De Maldoror' (see Vital Weekly 801), which I didn't dig altogether. It was a mixture of spoken word (Bruyas) and music (Dijkstra), separated in the left and right channel, which is perhaps what made it for me a bit less. Here Bruyas and Dijkstra work together, with the help of Timo van Luijk on monochord and acoustic noise. The music is all trade mark Dijkstra: lots of echo used on the sound sources, which here may have a lesser focus on glass and forks, his usual instruments, but a somewhat more obscured electronic sound, maybe the harmonium and electronics? Maybe not, as it's never easy to tell. Van Luijk's flute is apparent, and there is an occasional processed feedback. There is also some curious form of processing on the voice of Bruyas, which makes it sound a bit like something that has been sped-up, a bit old school industrial, but very nice, whereas the music is actually not very industrial. Altogether this is highly obscure music, but I must say I quite like it. The voice reminded me of Cortex, or very very early Die Form, and the highly improvised music had also something vaguely old-school, like a mid-80s cassette release. It's a dark, yet fascinating sound, which is recorded quite softly and not too outspoken, but which allows the listener to perform his own meditation, his own ritual or simply adjust the volume in such a way that one feels most conformable with. Fans of Raymond Dijkstra and Timo van Luijk know what to expect, probably, yet somehow this is slightly different, slightly something else and a further expansion of a highly private universe. (FdW)(Vital Weekly)
NIVRITTI MARGA – S/T (Editions Le Souffleur) LP
Nivritti Marga is Raymond Dijkstra, Timo van Luijk, and Frederique Bruyas. (She is a professional reader!) The texts are from Maldoror by Comte de Lautreamont. There are a lot of long instrumental passages and the pacing is very dream-like. The music seems to be mostly from acoustic sources, although Raymond's trademark hard, short echo is in effect on and off throughout the LP. Bruyas' voice is also processed, leading an even odder air to the proceedings. This is another fantastic release from Raymond and he seems to have a very unique, updated and individualistic angle on Dada/Surrealism. He continues to construct a very personal sound world. The record is in a bag, with a 12" x 12" artwork and a printed inner sleeve with the texts in French and English. PS If you have not read Lautreamont, you owe it to yourself. (Scott Foust )(Swill Radio)
NIVRITTI MARGA – Nivritti Marga LP
Timo van Luijk seems to specialise in collaborations with autodidacts, semi-recluses or limelight avoiders. He's paired up with Christoph Heemann in In Camera, Andrew Chalk in Elodie and Raymond Dijkstra, firstly in the now defunct Asra duo and now in Nivritti Marga, a trio with Frédérique Bruyas. The group's moniker is a Hindu term connoting an inward path of contemplation. Dijkstra's last two solo albums (Cittavibhrama and Hiranyagarbha - also one of the track titles here) had Hindu titles, suggesting themes of spirituality or religion on which their debut album - in it's familiarly surreal, hall of mirrors confusion - disquietingly extrapolates. It's somewhat reminiscent of Dijkstra's 2011 Les Chants Du Maldoror duo with Bruyas in it's use of spoken words texts. Her narrations, in French, are treated to a higher than natural pitch and fed through delay, which at first seems a little comical, before gradually taking on a more sinister bent. Van Luijk adds monochord scrapes and acoustic noise to three tracks; elsewhere Dijkstra's spiralling synth textures resemble controlled explosions going off in the background. (Nick Cain )(The Wire)
© Nivritti Marga