Tabs Out | International Surrealist Bulletin – Immanence

International Surrealist Bulletin – Immanence

1.21.19 by Ryan Masteller

I opened up a web browser and typed in “International Surrealist Bulletin,” and I was directed to the Ephem-Aural Bandcamp page. “Huh,” I said to myself. “The Fox News page looks weird.” I clicked “Buy Cassette” on the page, thinking it was a recently archived news story about walls or Russia or something. “Six dollars!” I exclaimed. “The news is worth AT LEAST thirty grand of my hard-earned money!” Three, zero, comma, zero, zero, zero, I typed. Purchased. Ephem-Aural is probably a Fox subsidiary.

Six months later, my tape arrived [Ed.: Tapes usually take a few days to arrive – don’t think it’ll take six months for this one], and I was surprised that it didn’t contain even a hint of my favorite talking heads … look I don’t really watch Fox News, is Hannity still on there? Who cares. The tape wasn’t Fox News, but it was worth the thirty grand. It just was a different International Surrealist Bulletin than I’d initially thought.

“Immanence” is actually an escape from the “surreal” “international” happenings around us, whether they appear in “bulletin” form or otherwise. Taking on an even MORE surreal surrealness than everyday surreality, “Immanence” is the first release by the New York artist since the excellent “Communitas,” and it continues the unrelenting attention grabbing of its predecessor. Building somewhat ambient soundscapes out of a variety of textures and timbres, International Surrealist Bulletin lays it on thick and heavy, a synthesizer cloud of doom and creep, even on the horns-and-melodica-laced “Nigleh” (those are probably not actually horns and melodica). Of course “Immanuel” breaks the spell by the end, a glowing track emerging from the long dark night, just like the Christ child on Christmas morn did hundreds of years ago.

Immanence: God living within and encompassing our universe. Immanuel: “God with us,” a name given to the Christ child. Wait, are we sure this ISN’T a subsidiary of Fox News???

We are sure. We are coated with the surreal until it loses meaning. Then we simply drift along upon the sublime. We are notified of nothing and everything, a paradox of informational awareness.

Grab a copy of “Immanence” from Ephem-Aural, and break your brain upon the unyielding rock of unknowability.

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