Peter Kris – Rim Of The World
9.1.15 by Mike Haley
It’s not often one needs to give or get a lesson, however brief, in the history of an artist’s region before listening to their eight song cassette tape. But that is just how “Rim Of The World” begins. Before the first pluck of a guitar string, Peter Kris describes Southern California’s Inland Empire on page one of the 22 page booklet that accompanies this tape. An area plagued by economic disparity, short-sighted real estate lust, and austerity. Or, as Kris puts it, 27,000 miles of “a dramatic mix of wealth-driven development and hopeless decline”.
It’s also Kris’ home, and he’s called it that for most of his life. His photographs of it’s abandoned habitats and forgotten scenery just east of Los Angeles are what fill the rest of the booklet. They are simple images that some people might write off as cliché; paint pealing from a ceiling, abandoned vehicles, graffiti covering what’s left of an unrecognizable structure that is either falling apart or was never fully built. I think his shots are very strong. At some point someone painted that ceiling. A human. They probably were bummed when drips landed on an un-tarped part of the floor. I’m sure someone took pride in that truck, maybe even overreacted about a scratch on the fender. Now it’s just a pile of rust. It’s fucked. It’s a nice reminder of how everything will eventually be discarded scraps of a larger presence. A rusted shell of previous satisfaction. Fucked. Or maybe I’m just too stoned.
The photography with this releases doesn’t end with reproduced copies in the booklet. Each version of “Rim Of The World” comes with a one-of-a-kind photograph on the cover. Which brings us to the tape itself. As I said earlier, there are eight song. And as I hinted at, there is guitar plucking. Peter Kris (and it goes without saying that’s not his real name, right? Even though I just said it) is the backbone of German Army. Going solo here, he basically soundtracks the images provided. Guitar bliss, often with a covert twang, shivers freely. Reverb peels off notes like old lead paint, fostering desperation and heartache. Memories and longing for things you never had. While the ax wielding is clean as a whistle, plenty of electronic tremors are mixed through. Kris totally captures the essence of the modern day ghost town and a general “what the fuck have we done?” vibe. I’m not saying that these sounds will blow your mind, but they will most definitely blur your senses. Moments of slowed/stripped down layering remind me a bit of older, home dubbed Mark McGuire releases. Others inflate into awesome dream sequences.
Humans have evolved into animals that aren’t capable of being responsible with this planet. We construct with rapacity and destroy without concern. An optimist might look at “Rim Of The World” and see it as an attempt to find beauty amid that doom. A pessimist will probably just find an OST to a slow death. Whoever you are, this is a fantastic release both visually and musically. The overall presentation also kills it. A very clean look, hand numbered out of 100, solid gold shells. Spring Break & Peter Kris teamed up like Jordan and Pippen and ‘Rim Of The World” is a…. (I want to say “slam dunk!” so bad. SOOOOO bad. But I wont do that to you) an amazing release. Go buy it now, unless you’ve sworn off even the idea of capitalism. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯