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The Lion Hunt

by Schwerpunkt

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Ben Harris
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Ben Harris Some terrible undercurrent haunts this otherwise gorgeously distorted record. Swelling electronic ambience accompanied by morose but sanguine spoken word samples - like the contentment of a madman who is about to commit (yet peacefully come to terms with) heinous deeds. If Matthew Holness made concept albums, it'd probably sound something like this. Favorite track: We Talk/I Talk.
Michael Carter
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Michael Carter Wow!this is an amazing piece of music,reading the creators text above got me straight away and this does not disappoint.Some parts reminded me of Coil and for some reason the film Quatermass and the Pit,uneasy,spatial awareness,dread and also joyful.I love this!
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As Usual 03:38
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AD14 04:35
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Yamaha Dub 04:27
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Drumswell 02:41
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about

The Lion Hunt is named for the series of relief sculptures from the palace of Ashurbanipal, which are now held by the British Museum. George describes visiting his home town of London in 2014:

Every couple of months I would get the train to London from Manchester, each time convinced it would be his last ever visit to my home. I would go straight from Euston to the British Museum to balance myself out and de-escalate. The abjection of the lions in the lion hunt room was my only real method of grounding. The artwork depicts the king partaking in mechanised slaughter - there is an infrastructure of trappers, cages and charioteers involved in killing the giant cats. There are multiple wounded, crippled lions, some vomiting blood, some clearly already drained and dead. When I was making this record, I had a moment of absolute terrifying clarity in front of the panel that is the cover of this tape. I was the lion, and the lion was me - only my infrastructure was the grinding, slow wheel of capital-induced mental disorder, rather than the skipping fast wheel of the chariot.

The Lion Hunt is George’s third release under the moniker of Schwerpunkt, following from 2018’s Don’t Give Up You Can Do It and 2014’s How to Be Saved and Know It. Exhumed itself from a series of recording sessions which took place in 2014-15, The Lion Hunt is an exercise in reflection and reanimation, a deep dive into the personal archive to reassemble work that languished in a state of construction. The process of coming back to finish the final 5% of the record in 2021 is described by George as ‘like visiting a foreign country, and staying with a distant cousin’. This unhomeliness permeates the tracks, which lurch from discrete mediations on the nature of grief, to harsh feedback drones, which cave in on themselves under the weight of heavy saturation, dissolved in the acid rain of personal history.

Recorded either late at night or very early in the morning, the tracks creak and heave, freed by the project’s work process of “doing” rather than “thinking”. The immediacy of this approach cleaves its space in a sonic palette of austere synthesis and manipulated feedback loops — an exercise in working with limitations.

Points of comparison come readily to the early industrial tape experiments of T.G and Cabaret Voltaire, as drum machine led minimal wave lurches into gut churning drones — but the record avoids the stasis of repetition, driven by the materiality of its production.

The release comes with detailed liner notes from the artist, in which he reflects on the recording process, the distinct temporal and topographical entanglement of its construction. While there remains an unnerving sense of dread to this record, there is also an overwhelming sense of hope — an air of joy in the process of experimentation and, essentially, learning to cope.

credits

released April 2, 2021

Schwerpunkt is George Rayner-Law

with contributions from: Edwin Dorley, D O'Donoghue, Will Tomlinson, Adam Waterfield

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A HISS AND A HUM NO HARM DONE

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