Beyond Illuminism

XVARR
Beyond Illuminism
THULUTH RECORDS

Cat#: TLT-001
Format: Vinyl
£18.00

Temporarily out of stock

Rubadub's Review
Consummately executed - considered, grown-up, sincere - ritual electronics from a London-based child of Thule, Zaheer Gulamhusein - inspired by "The Crooked Path, Lycia, Osiris, Sekhmet, Oblivion, Shunga, Paranoia." For years Gulamhusein has been passing private CD-Rs of his recordings - all heavily informed by his study of Western esoteric spirituality - to friends and acquaintances, but this LP is on another plain, really. It combines a Coil-esque decadent, world-weary disinterment of the city’s occluded/interdimensional energies with a refreshingly direct and wide-eyed line of psychedelic inquiry. In the end, Beyond Illuminism sounds like nothing but itself, but it’s obviously aligned with the grandest sidereal tradition: ‘Temperance’ is our dreamweapon of choice, an accumulation of bowed and scraped tones that sigh and sway like Spacemen 3 in full flight (cf. Cale and Conrad), while ‘Quasi-Hypnotic’ combines the planet-curdling, arpeggiated fizz of Pulse Emitter or recent Ashtray Navigations with the opaque, quasi-gothic intensity of noir-est Detroit techno. Throughout all this Xvarr, like Ashtrays, Astral Social Club, even TG and Legendary Pink Dots, yolks together a quintessential UK underground/industrial severity with a sensuous, tactile drone-logic and thirst for ecstatic auto-annihilation that transcends place and feels as old and unarguable as time itself. But there are moments too of a more acute and earth-bound romanticism that caught us off guard: ‘Gemini Tree’ in particular is a beautiful piece of piano-led pastoral ambience that sounds like Plinth relocated from the Dorset countryside to the steps of Elephant & Castle shopping centre at first light. An amazing record, all the more powerful and remarkable for its purism and total indifference to current trends (whatever the fuck THOSE are). Edition of 200 copies, mastered by Rashad Becker, cut by Matt Colton, and pressed on heavyweight vinyl in a screen-printed, popset sleeve with gold foiled insert; a glass mastered CD version is included with the LP too.