Are artists the true authors of their artistic output or do they “channel” that which already existed; that which needed to be “liberated”? I found myself ruminating on this question while listening to Feelings Of Depression Are Created To Prevent Collapse Of My Spiritual World . The album is described by Yasuyuki Uesugi as a “noise wall”. It is a collection of “deeply experimental noise tracks that reflect ideas of the spiritual world, mental illness and the human brain”. Its creation involved setting up a noise-making chain of synths and effects and then - crucially - leaving the equipment to make continuous sound and recording the results into a Tascam recorder.
Walls of noise these pieces may be, and formidable they may appear, but - much like the remaining facets of the Berlin Wall, adorned as they are with wonderful art - this music is as beautiful as it is horrifying. Each track draws us into its sound world, and forces us to think while we are there. Every track is around 4:30, and for that time we are self-isolating with darkly sardonic titles such as “It is More Convenient for Society if My Brain Isn’t Active” or “Mental Stability is Made Chemically”. We enter each piece with trepidation and caution, feeling out its environment - the drones, the hiss, the distortion, the screeches. Each track pulsates steadily. The sound is threatening in its harshness but also inviting in its warmth. There is a circularity and a stability in the darkness. A very important element, which holds our interest in the face of the monotony, is the presence of microscopically subtle variations from each piece of analogue gear’s own unique “personality”.
We might imagine post-apocalyptic scenes, relentless biting winds, representations of our own demons rising up from scorched ground and dancing sarcastically in our faces. But we can learn to find the safety and security in these worlds. This is pure electronics and this is also pure nature. It is only disappointing when each track ends (very abruptly); we learn to appreciate and understand each new sound environment and then it is taken away from us without warning. But we accept this as well as we move to each next track.
The “ethos” and general sound of each piece on this 35-minute album is essentially the same, but the album holds our attention. The cohesion between tracks allows us to use the immersive and cathartic music and clever titles as catalysts to considering the type of world(s) we want to inhabit and to better understanding how our own minds relate to our external and internal realities.
Listeners interested in the genre who choose to invest in and live with this record will ultimately be able to have their pain eased and to feel uplifted. One way or another we all sometimes need to feel liberated from the battles we fight in navigating the world. This album could be part of your path towards that liberation.
Feelings Of Depression Are Created To Prevent Collapse Of My Spiritual World is available for streaming and download now at https://yasuyuki-uesugi.bandcamp.com/album/feelings-of-depression-are-created-to-prevent-collapse-of-my-spiritual-world.