Rudolf Eb.er | Om Kult : Ritual Practice of Conscious Dying (Vol. II)
Om Kult (CD/DL)
I got to know the work of Rudolf Eb.er when once I saw he was going to perform a concert in my city. At that time I was very much into noise, but for some reason I could not attend that concert. This occasion, and the will of making up for an opportunity I felt I had lost, made me explore his published works, his extreme rituals, a bit further.
After that, other adventures and a certain drift from noise kept me away from his production. What a better occasion than the publication of the second volume of Om Kult to get back on the Osaka-based Swiss lord of noise?
As stated in the title of the album this is the second volume from a collection of three works (the third is still unpublished). A tryptic and not a trilogy, as he states, to filter out every possible reference to a chronological relation between the three instances.
Three works, all starting from the same core, developing in three different directions as if they were independent meditation sessions. In this sense the author seems to enter an altered state of the mind, or should we say of the ear, in which deep listening practices unveil, filter and amplify microscopic details of the original sounds and pull them back into a context that is together harsh but familiar.
The field recordings he uses, often unrecognizable as such, could be coming from whatever broken electronic source, but their organic nature is present in the unpredictable liveness of the agent that leaves room for the unexpected. Still these noises have an unpolished but elegant identity, a strong meaning. They are not always as overwhelming as he got us used to, often rather mild instead, minimalistic but uncompromised, as if they were filtered by the sense of purity of the old Japanese monastic tradition. Interesting is also his use of voice that is perfectly integrated and becomes an important part of the ritual, drawing attention onto itself as the vocal element awakens the listener and starts the preparation for a journey into a new status of the mind.
The tracks are all very short but act as a precise elements of a bigger picture where the the beginning starts a psychoacoustic voyage into a different state of the mind, and one after another new stages of the ritual are presented until the slow final procession towards the death of ‘Der Psychopomp’. Therefore considering them as single tracks might be inappropriate and quite misleading, but a special mention from me goes to Totenlied, that I believe encapsulates the whole concept of the album into a well framed picture.
Compared to some previous releases of his that I’ve listened to, the overall feeling is that Rudolf Eb.er has left behind any sonic reference to the ritual and transformed his musical work into a ritualistic practice in itself. In this sense the ritual has passed from being an object to being a subject. This development yields a fairly more complete and mature experience for the listener that is not more called to spectate or observe a ritual but to join, participate and be a part of it.
Play it loud.