♫♪  DAS TORPEDOES - The Madness Inspiration

During a particularly dull fourth grade science lecture, a younger, bespectacled version of myself sneakily scanned the collection of Roald Dahl short stories that I’d concealed in the lower compartment of my desk. Lacking the spidery, pen-scratched Quentin Blake illustrations that inhabited much of Dahl’s bibliography, there seemed something counterfeit about The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More. Two rows of brownstones lined the borders of the yellowed little anthology’s cover, pear-shaped townsfolk clogging the block with outstretched hands as a yellow-haired man in a burgundy suit showered them with twenty-pound notes from his top floor patio. This man, the titular star of the collection’s title piece, was an archetypal Robin Hood figure of sorts, a psychic who used his abilities to ensure victories at the casinos he visited across Great Britain.

Henry Sugar’s origin story is one that, for whatever reason, is planted deeply in some godforsaken cavern of my mind to this day: to train his faculty to enter states of intense psychic focus, he’d perform a nightly ritual.

“Each night now I light a candle and I begin by staring at the flame. A candle-flame, you know, has three separate parts, the yellow at the top, the mauve lower down, and the black right inside. I place the candle sixteen inches [aprox. 40 cms] away from my face. The flame is absolutely level with my eyes. It must not be above or below. It must be dead level because then I do not have to make even the tiniest little adjustment of the eye muscles by looking up or down. I settle myself comfortably and I begin to stare at the black part of the flame, right in the centre. All this is merely to concentrate my conscious mind, to empty it of everything around me…So I stare at the black spot in the flame until everything around me has disappeared and I can see nothing else”

This passage was exhumed from the catacombs of my subconscious about midway through the A-Side of Das Torpedoes’ The Madness Inspiration, a vinyl re-issue of the dark ambient project’s 2002 cassette debut via Animal Disguise Recordings. Each of the record’s 7 compositions is an intensely focused field recording conducted in the center of a candle-flame’s dark alcove - most tranquil are Acts III and VI, tracks that could be simultaneously described as claustrophobic and spacious. Each cut is flooded with the static hush of stale air and pools of bass that resemble ectoplasmic ooze. Das Torpedoes’ tickly alien soundscapes sound as if they’re being eavesdropped on from another room, the residual rumble of commercial airliners and stalled traffic seeping through paper-thin walls.

“If only we could develop these inner senses of ours, then we could smell without our noses, taste without our tongues, hear without our ears and see without our eyes.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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