Having only been available on self-released cassettes and vinyls, the original debut-album by Los-Angeles based nihilist-pop act Image Of Life has been put up on bandcamp in its entirety. This album features twelve tracks recorded in between 2010-2012. The A-Side was recorded in June of 2011 to October of 2012, whilst the B-Side was recorded as early as October and November of 2010. Since the cassette was limited to only 45 copies, it was hard to obtain for those interested since it sold out pretty quickly. The second edition, a vinyl-edition released in conjunction with the Pure Ground tour in Europa some months ago – was released in an edition of 90 copies, by Image Of Life himself. Since I interviewed him in 2013, when he released his “Weight Loss In Wartime / Walking In The Dark” single on Chondritic Sound, not much have been heard about him more than being featured in occasional articles. So it comes as a glad surprise that he chose to do this so you can stream the whole release digitally, before you consider buying the cassette. Since it seems like there’s a new cassette-run of 15 limited copies of this original release “Last Letters From The Leper Colony“. Stream it down below and consider buying it if you like what you hear.
Image Of Life is an interesting person, whom you may or may not know, but that’s irrelevant. According to himself, at least. He heavily indulges in what he calls “nihilist pop”, a sub-genre which he himself has coined. Not much can be said about him, but the overtly misanthropic and nihilistic music that he makes. The first album that appeared was a self-released cassette titled “Last Letters From Leper Colony“, which featured ten songs, all written between the years of 2010-2012. After being featured on Kristopher Reinshagen’s list in “favorite musiks of 2012“, on the ninth place – he delved into further anonymity. Until he surfaced once again, now to be featured on the Chondritic Sound roster, as he released a double-single in 2013, by the name of “Weight Loss In Wartime / Walking In The Dark“. This original minimal synth purveyor is not to be known, but we shall make sure to know him a little bit better. Therefore, I asked him a few questions, ranging from his albums, his person and a little bit of everything you’d ever want to know about nihilism.
Suffice to say, this is the second part of your indulgence with Nostilevo. I’ll keep pressing it to your face, so you can hear it for yourselves, as you roam your apartment late at nights. Peacefully, you’ll sail with me on the wide oceans that is the Spring batch of tapes from this label. Controllable, uncontrollable – everything is relative, but relatively hopeless. Everything from the purest of experimental endeavors, to scarred Gothic delights, topped of by industrial heaviness. For those of you that haven’t checked it out yet, Part II includes reviews (and only reviews) of the following artists/groups/bands: Pure Ground, Ritual Howls, Church Shuttle, Mammal and The Glass Path. Enjoy it while its enjoyable, return when you feel like returning – and read when your eyes aren’t shut.
Nihilism, it should’ve been combined. Joined together with the dark overtones of minimalism, as we’re at it with full speed. No glitter, no joy and a fist full of apathy. Let the dark melodies, swift jabs of minimal synth and evil vocals of Image Of Life conquer your mind. Los Angeles seems to be a hotbed of these experiments, at least when it comes to synthesizer-based music. As usual, I am not able to keep up with the continuous flow of great music that you’ll have to dig out yourself. Which made me feel embarrassed, since this release has been out for a month by now. Well, it’s titled “7¨“, and is short and stout. If I didn’t know anything about this release, I would’ve thought it was an obscure gem from the minimalistic underground of the 80’s. This is probably one of the best combinations of minimalism and nihilistic tendencies that I’ve come upon. As the atmosphere is suffocating anything lively, except the melodies, the dark overtones approach you slowly – to simply shift their aim and jab you right in the head, with enormous speed and force. Downtempo is not the only thing you’ll find here, but an industrial landscape fused with concrete sound. It certainly makes your mood swing 360 degrees, from happiness to a toned down kind of apathetic state of mind, with depressive thoughts just around the corner. So, when it comes to feelings, he’s able to twist and turn them – shaping them into the thematic consequence of the release itself. The songs are basically entwined within a certain pattern, but the ambiguous nature of it makes it feel like the illusion has been set in place. On one hand, there’s an general feeling of up-tempo, which changes imminently after the first song is heard. Turning head on tail, making it impossibly darkened. As it was said before, this is probably one of the best, if not the best, release that has come out this year in the minimal synth category. If these words need to be revised, this would probably still be in the top-5, contending with its overall landscape of soothingly (but uneasy) nihilistic, tempered and warm – fusion of both bad, good, evil – soaked from head to toe, in quality. The release feature two songs and was released on the 5th of April by Chondritic Sound.