Dark Arts - Reflections in a Rear View Mirror
We make no secret of our love for Stroom round these parts, and here we are championing yet another archive release of theirs. Dark Arts were a Columbus, OH collective initially operational in the early 80s around the time of that initial wave of odd-shaped Midwest (post)punk, though their sound has little relation to Pere Ubu, DEVO et al. More obvious is a spiritual connection with early-mid era 4AD, namely the second This Mortal Coil album, Pieter Nooten and Michael Brock, Dead Can Dance, Heidi Berry even... you get the idea: otherly, emotional, slightly grandiose, and built around a captivating vocal. Sue Ann Mason isn't exactly Lisa Gerrard, but she sure can conjure a dark old spell no mistake. In that sense, it also reminded me of Vox Populi and Les Rallizes Denudes in part, a kind of ethno-industrial folk dream goth kinda thing, like stumbling upon a hidden commune in the words, their predilections not quite clear either way... Should add that Reflections in a Rear View Mirror is a compilation of 'old and new', though it's not easily discernible what represents the past and what the present, which is a testament to the track selection if nothing else (and also is the perfect description of the Stroom aesthetic). Like with everything Stroom do - discovery, artwork, sound - it's immaculately conceived.
LT01: 70% wool, 15% polyester, 10% polyamide, 5% acrylic 900 Grms/mt