Just recently, industrial junkyard outfit 156 released a bizarre, yet extremely unique, 10” vinyl EP, titled Memento Mori. What separates this new recording from most others is that all music was made using only human bones (or human breath passing through human bones).
On Saturday, November 12th in Manhattan’s West Village, 156 will celebrate the event with a record release party at SoHo Psychoanalytic (30 Charlton Street, Suite #1), hosted by psychiatrist Vanessa Sinclair, PsyD. As well as a listening party, Adel Souto of 156 will hold a talk on the recording of the EP, with special guest poet and publisher Katy Bohinc presenting a brief lecture on the anatomy of the universe in comparison to the human skeletal system. The Memento Mori vinyl EP is a 9-track, bone-colored 10” disc – playable at two speeds (33 rpm for Thunderdrone Versions) – available in a limited edition of 489, as well as an 18-track digital version, both of which were mastered by James Plotkin.
Though the music on this release is still in the spirit of early Einstürzende Neubauten, Test Dept, Crash Worship, and Z’EV, 156’s normal use of metal, glass and concrete has been scrapped. Originally dubbed “meditation music for metalheads”, using only human bones has given this output an even more primitive sound than any previous 156 material. The “instruments” on this release include human skulls, femurs, vertebrae, plus bone whistles, and Tibetan thighbone trumpets (kangling).
While conceptually multi-layered, the main purpose for this record is to serve as – for those who cannot obtain one – the skull’s replacement in the ritual room where a scholar contemplates death in the Renaissance rite of ars moriendi (“The Art of Dying”).
Similar in idea, and in attitude, to Zero Kama‘s 1984 LP, The Secret Eye of L.A.Y.L.A.H., as well as Metgumbnerbone’s Ligeliahorn album from 1983, Memento Mori is a listen unto itself; differing in sound and style. It’s a quiet record meant for contemplation, but do not be afraid to play loud.
See you on the 12th of November at SoHo Psychoanalytic (30 Charlton Street, Suite #1), even if just to have a curious listen. The event starts at 8pm, and is free to the public .