♫♪  Hexa - “Factory Photographs”

David Lynch casts a long shadow. He is that sort of artist whose style is so complete, his reputation so massive that, like a light gel or a black hole, things get unavoidably transformed in his presence. So Factory Photographs, the soundtrack companion piece to a recent photo exhibit of Lynch’s industrial pictures, might come across as dominated by his spirit, and the record’s metal clangs and subliminal bass rumble clearly draw — whether as intentional tribute or not — from a soundscape that the filmmaker helped to define from Eraserhead to Inland Empire.

Fortunately there’s more going on here than that. Factory Photographs is also the next in a long line of Xiu Xiu-adjacent collaborations, and the piece is just as recognizably a Jamie Stewart work: that feeling of free-floating terror and hysterical dread, that the music itself might somehow go down in flames, is certainly present (and also perhaps underlines why this is Stewart’s second time going around the Lynch carousel). There is also, for how controlled the noise is here, a looseness not present on flagship Xiu Xiu releases, and Stewart’s partnership here with the brilliant Australian composer Lawrence English really feels like a expansive dialogue between artists. Inward-looking and beyond bleak, yet ambient enough to meditate into, this session is like circular breathing coal smoke.

Stream Factory Photographs below. You may also pre-order Lawrence English’s new record, Cruel Optimism, over at Bandcamp.

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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