Two armies prepare and train in secret. Each refining its tactics and strategies. Each forced to second guess the skills and actions of the other.
But all is hypothetical – a cloud of ignorance – until the moment, known only to one side, that an assault is launched and the war begins. All clouds of potential, all quantum uncertainties, the untested plans in the heads and hands of the untested soldiers, finally collapse into a single kinetic reality.
This is the compositional principle of Duo42. Two musicians who have trained and practiced in secret. One, euFraktus_X, in Brasilia. The other, TJ VJuga in Slovakia. (The first musician from that country we welcome to Dionysian Industrial Complex). Each prepares and plans their side of the collaboration independently. Recording, improvising (“comprovising” as VJuga calls it) with nothing but guesswork about the other. It is only at the moment of crisis, of collapse – the moment of live performance, streamed to the world online – that the two sides formally meet, their sonic arsenals are weighed and summed together, and the final reality of the music is crunched from the field of possibilities.
The result of that first encounter is what you hear here.
In 2023, “Collapse” and “Peace” are two words that orbit our minds, like baleful moons throwing crooked shadows. They whirl around our thoughts pulling and pushing all other ideas out of their way. Peace is the absent potential we are forever reaching and hoping for. Collapse is what happens instead.
Collapse is the arrival of a concrete reality. Punctuation. A horrid certainty.
You might, therefore, be surprised on first listening to this EP. There seems neither war nor peace in this music. There is no explosive sonic drama. No rockets or tanks. No screams of fear or hatred or pain. It is not the sound of war. It is, in its own way, “calm”.
But neither is it the sound of peace. This music is restlessly open and uncertain. There is no comfortable arrival at a tonic. No stable framework in which improvisers or listeners can construct their happiness. This is a calm that may be before, after or even in the eye of, the storm. But one that is never ignorant of the storm. A state of ongoing, rolling “alertness”.
The words here may also surprise. Largely drawn from a Derridan idea of “inner duplicity of the text” they are repeated in many voices and many languages. With performances by the daughters of both musicians. Sometimes sweet. Sometimes sinister.
But perhaps we should not be so surprised. Especially if we have spent any time on social media during recent conflicts. War is as much a conflict of narratives. Multiple interpretations of history, that have been prepared, polished and fine-tuned, for years in advance. Until suddenly flung into conflict with each other across the battlefields of social media.
The appearance do Derrida may cause us to speculate. Though this is not the sound of peace, maybe it is the sound of the SPECTRE of peace. The unconditional or ideal of peace which haunts us in war-torn times. The peace we remember with nostalgia and dream of for the future.
Note this EP is simultaneously released on Hevhetia (hevhetia.bandcamp.com/album/colapsamento-1-pela-paz-collapse-1-for-peace) and Dionysian Industrial. The Slovakian version is raw, unmastered. The Dionysian one has been mastered with the help of AI.