Knifesex – ‘Babalon’   8 comments

Released November 17th, via 3t3rnal Records, debut album of Knifesex – alter ego of solo artist, DJ and producer Vanessa Irena, ‘Babalon’ is a spiritual album, in reverence to the identically named apocalyptic goddess, originating from the Book of Revelations. This project is very much a worship oriented work, ceremonially based. The disordered internal mechanisms of the album and its production methods mirror the essential personification of the goddess. Influenced by aspects of trip hop, noise and post-industrial, it’s thematic focuses are centred around feminism, spirituality, witchcraft and ‘the occult’. Its intended purpose is as a purifying ceremonial ritual and a catalyst for ecstatic dance.

‘Sex & Death’, the 1st single from Babalon, is a planned feature on ‘Coven’, the compilation produced by Carl Abrahamson and is in memory of Lady Jane Breyer-P-Orridge, October 31st, on Highbrow Lowlife.

Based in New York City, Knifesex previously produced and sang lead vocals for The Harrow, also NYC-based. She was also the other half of electronic duo ‘Synesect’, presented Total Control radio show, on Brooklyn-based Newtown radio, performed live with Public Memory and created the song ‘Cinder’, for the album entitled, ‘What I Speak, I Create’. Knifesex also founded Hathor, a collective of female solo electronic producers and co-founded New Jack Witch, a separate collective of urban witchcraft practitioners.

Holy Is The Whore Part 1 – (Intro) – Very ambient, calm, centred intro, with a mystical feminine vocal, providing a spiritually reverent chant, in deference to the goddess inspired album title muse. Simple in its focus; intriguing in its nature.

Blood In The Cup – Tribal drum beats intro, measured in their timing and gradually introing more ambient sounds, leading up to the contemplative lyrics and thoughtful pace of delivery. The ritual emphasis soon becomes apparent, in the careful repetitive chants and matching instrumental energy. There’s a slightly melancholic feel to this and it’s definitely more of a purposeful track, designed for specifics, than one to rock out to, as such, but there’s no pretence here, as the motives are elucidated, from the start, so even brief research will tell you what to expect. No one’s fooling anyone.

Sex_Death – Carrying the ambient theme into this 3rd track, with just a hint of darkness, yet bringing in a shaft of light and opening of echoed vocals, filling out the track. The devotional angle is clear, as is that underwater sense to the surrounding atmosphere. One for relaxation, when in need of something with which to empty your mind.

Mother Of Beasts – Opening with a cave-like sound, creating instant visuals. More instrumental than vocal, with a host of percussive sounds emerging, into the open. Mid-paced, deeply ceremonial track, almost hypnotic in its rhythm. Flowing repetition swims through this, till the end, with clearly focused intent.

Daughter Of Fortitude – Similar sound to this, but now, the vocals come in, in an oratory style, speaking their message, with quiet, calm confidence, whilst later supported by backing vocals and entrancing instrumentals. Strong messages, within a gentle frame. The solitary purpose of this album resonates throughout and if anything, its power is enhanced by the straightforward manner of its performance.

Living Flame – Continuing the ambient theme, emphasising and strengthening it, with the variety of percussion elements used, to deliver its vital energy. It’s definitely more visual in its imagery evoking nature, again, bringing home its ritualistic emphasis, through the consistent rhythmic repetition.

Holy Is The Whore – Part 2 – (Outro) – More of a penetrative feel to this sound, almost snake-like, in the vivid trance infusion it conveys. A jungle imagining springs to mind. Almost growing in on itself, via its complexity of purpose, becoming difficult to focus on more than one aspect at once, so concentrated is its own focus, you could say it comes full circle, returning to the beginning point. Similar to a sound-tracked circular maze.

Overall – Meditative mood music, more than anything else pertaining to rockier arenas, but unarguably skilled, in its performance. Ambience is it’s overriding sense and sound, combined with ritual and whilst a good deal of song-craft and talent has obviously gone into ‘Babalon’, it may just be more suited to other genres.

7/10 *******

Available now.

For fans of Enya and other ambient mood music.

Posted November 28, 2017 by jennytate in Uncategorized

8 responses to “Knifesex – ‘Babalon’

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