Chicago’s Disappears are Brian Case (also of the Ponys and 90 Day Men), Jonathan van Herik, Damon Carruesco and Noah Leger. Their latest album “Pre-Language”, released on Kranky records, features Sonic Youth‘s Steve Shelley on the drums. Disappears‘ druggy, rythmic rock music has often been compared to Neu!, Spacemen 3 or Jesus and Mary Chain at their noisiest. This output features the demo versions of 2 new songs and a rework of “Love Drug”, from their acclaimed last album, recorded in a single track at their rehearsal space. The material could not be more unpolished and this rawness only adds to the magic of the songs. The blown-open sound and potential of these versions is enormous. Brian’s barked, deadpan vocals remind of The Fall‘s Mark E. Smith, while the music shivers on. The drumming on this release is taken care of by a drumcomputer, adding a dry rhythm to underline the repetitive nature of the 3 songs. Disappears’ haunting basslines, monotone singing and shivering guitar sound are just enough to convey the mood of 21th century suburbia, with its nihilism and loneliness, the perfect soundtrack for hazy nights. In a unique blend of krautrock, minimalism and garage the group evocates desolation, despair and catharsis. This record seems to build up to an explosion that never seems to arrive. Their smoggy, narcotic sound makes everything come to a stop and builds up in a dynamic thrust, only to stop again. This is truely a thrilling release. Disappears’ interplay between tention and release is seamless and compelling.
The etched artwork on the b-side of this vinyl was done by Belgian photographer Stine Sampers. The diptych she created, captures the mood of the music so perfectly one could see it as the 4th song of the album. Samper’s pictures seem to dissect the beauty of the empty, simple moments within the human lifespan. Her pictures capture the hidden self of her subject. It seems as if the spectator is allowed to gaze into a world that’s completely indifferent to his/her presence. Her work is highly personal, helping her cope with love, loss and regret. But Sampers doesn’t just register. By taking a picture Sampers builds a visual narrative around the subject, similar to a diary entry. They often speak of despair or desillusion, as often as they evoke happiness. There is no in-between in Samper’s work. Most of her work is analogue. By using her camera she picks the moments, framing and thus, its meaning. Her pictures don’t tell precise stories, they honour the vagueness of the self. In her work, Sampers often refers to classical painting or literature: Sylvia Plath, renaissance portraiture as well as Egon Schiele go hand in hand.
1. A New House in a New Town (10:09)
2. LUV Drug (04:24)
3. Order (06:44)
***** Description of physical packaging:
— Vinyl only, 350 pressed copies.
— One-sided 180 gram LP format. A-side contains music, B-side contains an artist etching (done by Stine Sampers). Cardboard sleeve.
Release date: 27 February 2013
Recording location: Chicago
Mastering: Jason Ward @ Chicago Mastering