lila, branches off we had never loved the world… [CS; 5cm]

In the ultimate “appearances can be deceiving” release of 2016, Dhampyr’s long-titled lila… has more in common with Fiona Apple’s equally verbose titled album When the Pawn than it does with the hardcore metal and gothic imagery it implies. That isn’t to say it’s piano pop deconstruction, but it does tear down a lot of stereotypes in the same vein. Yes, it is an odd hybrid of Bauhaus and Liturgy when its first stanza beds down. And it often trades in on horror tropes rather than romantic failings when the mood shifts, but for an album that runs back and forth on the goth-metal slide rule, it also find itself in strange moments of dance, shoegaze, drone and baroque. And it all mysteriously works — this building up of familiar motifs just to tear them down with a sly smile like a child at play, only to use the pieces to build a stranger, less recognizable monolith that is far more precious and interesting than the warmth of said familiar. lila… is a little rough around the edges and in this case, it works. But for these marathon mind fucks to stand the test of time, Dhampyr just ensured they’re going to have to up the stakes the next time. Whatever the opposite of vaporwave is that still somehow embraces that radical shift in appropriation-as-creation, lila… is its axis.

Links: 5cm


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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