Dizayga Anthrocide: Exit By Accented Figures

[Mr. Snow; 2018]

Styles: avant-garde crunkcore
Others: Stabscotch, brokenCYDE channeling GG Allin

In physical medicine, “trauma” is simply a wound. But the phenomenological experience of psychological trauma is the echo: the feedback loop of transgressive agony that the mind perpetuates through psychocannibalistic consumption by recalling (ingesting), reviving (digesting), and rearticulating (defecating) emotional and physical injury. By feeding upon itself to reshape experience, trauma acquires the capacity to reshape identity and behavior, too: dissociative identity disorder, manic depression, post-traumatic stress disorder — even substance abuse disorder and other self-destructive behaviors.

Naturally, trauma is rooted in personal history; its manifestation is psychological scar tissue. Although these scars are evidence of past injury for many, they’re also sometimes evidence of healing: perhaps as cauterized wounds, self-defense mechanisms emerge from deep-seated needs, but they form the passage to personal overcoming, greater autonomy, and internal balance when properly addressed.

Conversely, decontextualized agony isn’t trauma, but simply angst: a presumptuous performance that problematically ascribes cultural capital to psychological injury, particularly emotional suffering. Such performative angst reinterprets suffering as “cred,” understood generally as “credibility” but also constituting social “credit” only cashable in discrete niches. When these appropriative tendencies move beyond fledgling middle-school friend groups to entire music scenes, even well-meaning artists hazard ridicule of the genuinely and severely afflicted, the traumatized. Because there’s a difference between the destigmatization of suffering and the celebration thereof: the latter approach transforms psychological trauma and mental disorders into capital production media that further decontextualize suffering by amputating the individual from the phenomenology of trauma — the fetishized product.

Of course, Stabscotch member Tylor Blensdorf (p.k.a. Dizayga) probably understood the implications of such indulgence when producing Anthrocide: Exit by Accented Figures, his solo debut. In fact, the record’s proceeds are entirely donated to the SARDAA (Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America). Nevertheless, the record’s abrasively chaotic atmosphere is probably not how those suffering from schizophrenia and related disorders would choose to characterize their experience, or have it characterized. Sure, the record isn’t explicitly inspired by these disorders — strictly speaking. But the fetishism of psychological collapse and transgressive suffering is perceivable, precisely because the record — if not problematic — is conceptually unoriginal.

Consider the similarly disorienting arrangements on Stabscotch’s Uncanny Valley, among last year’s most elusive records and thematically similar to Anthrocide. Everything from the hyperactive songwriting to the maximalist textures radiated energy, driving the record toward the state of absolute entropy; Blensdorf’s agitated shrieks merely complemented that atmosphere. On Anthrocide, however, his persona is crucial — exceedingly crucial. Blensdorf seems unconcerned with compositional rigor; instead, the record brandishes “insanity” and self-destructive behavior as the key interest points. Surely, originality suffers when these gimmicks are thus overplayed. But precisely that psychoses have been commissioned as the record’s marketable aesthetic suggests the phenomenology of trauma isn’t of genuine interest to the project. Rather, it’s about suffering as capitalized aesthetic — in other words: angst.

Links: Dizayga - Mr. Snow

Most Read