Again and Again Until We Feel Nothing, 2020

— Video

Again and Again Until We Feel Nothing from Yann Novak’s album Slowly Dismantling on Room40.

Credits

Sound & Video: Yann Novak

Slowly Dismantling, 2019

— Audiovisual Performance

Audiovisual performance based on my album of the same name published by Room40. Available for festivals and one-offs.

Credits

Footage by Geneva Skeen, Ian Wellman, and Byron Westbrook.
Thumbnail photo by Andrés Lam.

All Things End, Sometimes in Fire, 2019

— Video

All Things End, Sometimes in Fire from the album Slowly Dismantling on Room40.

Credits

Sound & Video: Yann Novak

Related Recordings & Publications

Further Dismantling, 2020

— EP

The idea for Further Dismantling came out of a conversation with Byron Westbrook while I was finishing my album Slowly Dismantling. He encouraged me to feature the final track, Again and Again Until We Feel Nothing, in some way because he thought it deserved it.  I had envisioned it as a closing to the album—something that could only be stumbled upon at the end.  I wanted the listener to understand the track as a conclusion to the ideas established in the preceding compositions.

Once the album was released I felt that I could highlight that piece by bringing the idea of community I had posited on Slowly Dismantling to fruition. I invited three artists close to me to remix the track: Geneva Skeen, my partner Robert Crouch, and of course, Byron Westbrook.  Asking each artist to use the closing of the album as the foundation for new ideas felt like the perfect way to extend and expand on the original concept through new ears and new perspectives.

To bring the idea full circle and tie it back in to the Slowly Dismantling’s personal roots I chose a photo by Tad Beck from his Double Document series for the cover. I met the artist though Robert and fell in love with this series, where he works with dancers, choreographers, and performers, asking them to either improvise or choreograph movements typical of their approaches. A selection of images is capture, then printed and placed on the floor, upon which the subject re-executes the original movements, distressing and tearing the prints. Finally, the original prints, which have become unique, damaged objects, are re-photographed with backlighting. The subject of the specific photo I chose is Jack Ferver, a prominent New York writer, choreographer, and director that I happened to have known in high school in Madison, Wisconsin.

Track Listing

  1. Again and Again Until We Feel Nothing (Geneva Skeen Remix)
  2. Again and Again Until We Feel Nothing (Robert Crouch Remix)
  3. Again and Again Until We Feel Nothing (Byron Westbrook Remix)
  4. Again and Again Until We Feel Nothing

Credits

Mastered by Lawrence English at Negative Space.
Cover photo: Double Document Jack Ferver 1 by Tad Beck.
Tracks 1, 2, & 4 published by Touch Music/Fairwood Music, UK.
Track 3 published by Coldtransmission Songs / Touch Music/Fairwood Music, UK.

Listen

Slowly Dismantling, 2019

— Album

With Slowly Dismantling, Los Angeles based artist Yann Novak problematizes understandings of ambience as homogenous and static. Slowly Dismantling deconstructs ambient, pulling it way from the blank and the atmospheric, refusing the perceived luxury of sound within which context is erased. Reflecting on his formative experiences as a queer youth in middle America, he explores the idea of these acoustic and social spaces as zones of liberation within which a spectrum of identity is formed. He creates a series of dense sonic fields that reflect on how the past can be decoded and utilized as a device for contextualizing the future.

Notes on Slowly Dismantling from Yann Novak…

The cover of Slowly Dismantling features the remnants of Hotel Washington, home to the LGBTQ+ community in my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin from the 70s until 1996 when it burned down. It housed a restaurant, a barber shop, a cafe, and an assortment of gay bars that served as a gathering space for the community. I was 17 when the hotel burned down and had only gone to the cafe a handful of times. What I expected to be the formative site for exploring my newfound queer identity was suddenly lost to the past, and I was left wondering how such a space would have influenced me. 

What remained in Madison after the fire was only the mainstream version of gay culture. The expressive camp of cinematic cult classics, drag shows, and quotes from pop culture was the language, and I didn’t speak it. Art and music are often identified as “queer” when they share these same core aesthetics, tropes, and character stereotypes. These signifiers have become acceptable ways to to express queerness within the larger heteronormative and capitalist gaze. This further taught me that, though I was queer, what I was making was not.

This led me to withdraw; the alienation that came with my introversion made it hard for me to take up space in the world. As my work as an artist and composer progressed, this lack of self confidence became part of my practice. I began using field recordings as a way for me to limit my decision making. I could shape and mold this source material to an extent, but there was always an external structure. While this allowed me to create work that was autobiographical, I was never totally in control of what I was making; thus, I was never fully visible in the work. 

This all changed following a transformative experience at a queer music gathering in the spring of 2019. I was finally immersed in a queer community that existed outside all dominant cultures, finally allowing me to feel seen as queer without any of the shortcomings the mainstream culture would have me believe. The acceptance and community I found there showed me the importance of identifying my work as queer—even if it does not deploy any of the codified tropes mainstream culture would be comfortable with—in order to make another version of queer visible. 

As I worked through Slowly Dismantling, it became a liberation from and a reinterpretation of myself. It allowed me to shed my insecurities and routines: grounding my work and process in something outside myself. Instead I choose to utilize digital and analog synthesis, recorded at my studio in Los Angeles and reprocessing recordings captured at MESS in Melbourne and EMS in Stockholm. Using pure synthesis allowed me to make decisions that were totally my own and present an album that is more personal and honest than any before it. 

Slowly Dismantling stands as a reminder that nothing is static; the world is ever-changing, just like our identities. It is an invitation to explore other modes of consciousness and the self, and it is these perpetual changes that make liberation possible.

Track Listing

  1. All Things End, Sometimes in Fire
  2. Accumulation
  3. We All Disappear
  4. The Metaphor of Party
  5. Again and Again Until We Feel Nothing

Credits

Composed and produced by Yann Novak in Los Angeles 2019.
Source material includes recordings captured at EMS Elektronmusikstudion (2018) and Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (2019). 
Mastered by Lawrence English at Negative Space.
Photo by Megan Sosa.
Thank you to Leah Clancy, Robert Crouch, Lawrence English, Megan Sosa, Byron Westbrook and all at GHT.

Read Reviews

  • Best of 2019 Lists: Antarctic Research Station, Daniel Crokaert (Unfathomless/Mystery Sea), Headphone Commute, & Lend Me Your Ears.

  • Με το “Slowly Dismantling” ο, εκ Λος Άντζελες προερχόμενος μουσικός και ακτιβιστής της LGBTQ+ κοινότητας, Yann Novak, δημιουργεί μια σειρά από πυκνά ηχητικά πεδία στα πλαίσια του ατμοσφαιρικού άμπιεντ με την πρόθεση να αποκωδικοποιήσει το παρελθόν ώστε να νοηματοδοτήσει το μέλλον. Στο εξώφυλλο του δίσκου τα  αποκαΐδια του ξενοδοχείου Washington –στο Μάντισον του Ουϊσκόνσιν -έδρα της  εν λόγω κοινότητας που πυρπολήθηκε ύστερα από 30 χρόνια λειτουργίας. Τα ηχητικά drones του YN, εν είδει ηχητικής μπάντας του θλιβερού συμβάντος, ακούγονται σκοτεινά και χαώδη σχολιάζοντας έτσι την όλη κατάσταση των σεξουαλικών διακρίσεων στις ΗΠΑ.
    — Αντώνης Ν. Φράγκος, Το Περιοδικό

  • Room40 presents Slowly Dismantling, the new album (available in digital and CD formats) from Los Angeles based queer sound composer Yann Novak.I decided to dive into this album without digging into the background information, to just experience it sonically, first and foremost. I wasn’t particularly familiar with Novak’s work, so sometimes I like to go in cold when listening to a new (at least new to me) artist. Seconds into Slowly Dismantling and I can already tell that I’m in for a treat.

    I’m a huge fan of what I’ll call atmospheric drone, and “All Things End, Sometimes in Fire” reveals that an atmospheric drone album is what I’m in for. Growing, vaporous drone mingles with bright resonance over the course of the opening piece. At appropriately high enough volumes, the low-end vapor really gets the interior of my car rattling. “Accumulation” follows in a similar fashion, however, the delivery is a bit more aggressive. There’s also a crispy undercurrent of static to give the track a little nuance. “We All Disappear” is really focused on low-end rumble, a perceptible buzzing synth tone, with a growing bright resonance which combines to morph into a sound that feels strangely uplifting. “The Metaphor of Party” couples what sounds like tape hiss, and intensely swarming sonic reverberations. Novak closes the album with “Again and Again Until We Feel Nothing”, a somber piece utilizing more gaseous drone, melodic ambient tones, and what sounds like amplified negative space. Taken as a whole, it’s a highly focused work, where each piece follows a similar course, yet little nuances provide character. It’s contemplative, music to think to and ultimately get lost in.

    In hindsight, I took to the liner notes to discover that album is a reflection of Novak’s days growing up as a queer youth in the American Midwest. Through the music, Novak dealt with feelings of alienation, acceptance, and eventual liberation. The cover image depicts the remnants of Hotel Washington, an important hub of the queer community in Madison, WI that burned down in 1996 when Novak was 17 years old.
    —Hal Harmon, Musique Machine

  • Yann Novak drive etiketten Dragon Eye Recordings efter att ha tagit över ansvaret från sin far Paul. Han har släppt en massa skivor och släpper nu en ny på Room40. På omslaget till skivan är det nedbrända Hotel Washington i hans gamla hemstad Madison. Det var ett ställe där LGBTQ+ communityn höll till men det brann ner 1996. Skivan är en slags konceptskiva som handlar om hur han, som queer, aldrig kände sig hemma då den konst och musik han gjorde inte riktigt passade in i den världen. Det var först 2019 under en queermusik-tillställning som han kände att han hittade en samhörighet.

    Vanligtvis brukar han använda sig av samplingar som han förändrar till oigenkännlighet, men på den här skivan är allt inspelat med analoga och digitala syntar på MESS i Melbourne och på EMS i Stockholm.
    Discreet Music

  • US ambientologist Yann Novak applies the rules of reduction in his take on the genre, foregrounding not the sound but the spaces around, which he characterises as ‘zones of liberation within which a spectrum of identity is formed’. In practical terms, this entails the hiving off and germination of discrete sonic elements within a neutral terrain; a minimalism not to be confused with one of ‘static’ ambient music that simply lacks detail or event, and further still from the extremes of heavily layered ‘power ambient’ or its ‘lower case’ counterpart. In other words, it is not simply the bourgeois refusal of excess but a removal to a position of safety from which to observe and grow.

    The opening theme (‘All Things End, Sometimes in Fire’) and cover art both relate to a pivotal event in Novak’s history: the burning down of the Hotel Washington, Wisconsin, in 1996. For around 20 years the hotel and its bars had been a haven for the gay community and its destruction thwarted the 17-year-old Novak’s expectations of ‘exploring (his) newfound queer identity’ within. The sense of loss was compounded by the emergence of what he describes as an ersatz, ‘mainstream version of gay culture’. The artist’s experience of subsequent events was one of alienated introversion, but a growing sense of acceptance over years culminated in this unconventionally ‘queer’ recording (as he relates it). It’s a soft, subharmonic roar of an ambient album – Thomas Köner for bedtime perhaps – and quasi-hauntological in its hiss-laden proposition of a stifled future. I’ve been unmoved by similar practitioners, but Novak manages to hit all the right tones here.
    — Stuart Marshall, The Sound Projector

  • The tracks on Yann Novak’s Slowly Dismantling begin with a far-off mechanical thrum that slowly grows louder, like the din of some dread siren on the horizon, before revealing their colors. They bleed into the red or crescendo into noise, as if Novak’s flayed them bare. There are no discernable instruments, no pianos or guitars, no stereo depth, just an obstinate and flat wall of sound. This isn’t music meant to evoke a sense of place; in fact, it feels oddly placeless.

    Maybe that’s on purpose. Slowly Dismantling is in part a tribute to the Washington Hotel, long the epicenter of the queer community in Novak’s hometown of Madison, WI until it burned down in 1996. Its ruin is shown on the cover. “I was 17 when the hotel burned down,” Novak explains in a letter accompanying the album’s release. “What I expected to be the formative site for exploring my newfound queer identity was suddenly lost to the past, and I was left wondering how such a space would have influenced me.” This is an album, then, not about a place but about the absence of one. No wonder it feels like the inverse of so much ambient music—as flat as most ambient is deep, as relentlessly forward-moving as most ambient drifts.

    There’s a kinship between Slowly Dismantling and Midtown 120 Blues, DJ Sprinkles’ great deep-house treatise on the decontextualization of specifically queer music. That album gave us house tracks as lush and swooning as any ever made but added furious narration to ensure we took the music with the context. As great as the sounds themselves were, they were hard to enjoy without taking into account Sprinkles’ thesis that dance music is the music of suffering. Likewise, Novak refuses to allow us to think of Slowly Dismantling as something we can just sink into and forget about everything. The ambient music of suffering. It’s a hard pill to swallow.

    Especially since, if you didn’t know anything about the music, you might think of it in the same way as a Thomas Köner or Warmth album: pure, uncluttered sound. It’s kinda soothing. There’s a thrill to the end of “The Metaphor of Party,” where it’s been building slowly for most of its runtime and is now audibly on its way to dissipating into noise. It’s a crescendo as powerful as any post-rock band can muster. And the album’s good on the ears, featuring the kind of rich, bassy production that Novak’s label boss Lawrence English has made his métier recently. This wouldn’t be a bad album to fall asleep to—but one gets the sense Novak would prefer you didn’t.

    If Novak’s letter is any indication, making the record was a cathartic experience. But how are we meant to respond to this music? When we enjoy it as pure sound in the way we might enjoy a Brian Eno album, is that a perverse feeling we should suppress? Why is Novak using ambient music as the medium for the message? Is the message contained within the music itself, or is it in the context surrounding it? Slowly Dismantling is an enjoyable album. Is it supposed to be?
    — Daniel Bromfield, Spectrum Culture

  • Put on the circuit via Australia’s Ambient staple Room40 on November 1st, 2k19 is Yann Novak’s most recent album named “Slowly Dismantling” which we’ve already announced on these pages with a video post for the Minimal Ambient opener “All Things End, Sometimes In Fire” earlier this year. With the following “Accumulation” the queer L.A.-based artist takes on a slightly more Drone oriented, warm, harmonic, yet time-dissolving Ambient approach, “We All Disappear” pairs a slowly shifting low end rumble with entangled harmonic interplays, somewhat resembling long organ tones blown over from afar by a tender, lazy summer breeze whereas “The Metaphor Of A Party” takes the concept of a slow steady sonic stream of pure comforting calmness to a new, masterly crafted level before the concluding composition “Again And Again Until We Feel Nothing” waves goodbye on a more melancholia-infused note. As Ambient as Ambient can be and therefore a worthwhile addition to every genre-based collection.
    Nitestylez

  • Das Schreiben über Nichts, das sei am schwierigsten, liess Patti Smith in ihrem Buch “M Train” verlauten. Diese Weisheit lässt sich auf jeden Fall auf die Musik übertragen, wobei der Meister der unspektakulären Töne in diesem Jahr klar Yann Novak war. Mit “Slowly Dismantling” bietet der amerikanische Produzent erneut Ambient-Flächen, welche sanft und langsam Veränderungen zeigen und homogen und statisch wirken. Als zweite Veröffentlichung nach “Scalar Fields” stehen die Tracks hingegen für sich alleine, mit einigem Inhalt.

    Das Covermotiv mit dem zerfallenen Hotel Washington ist keine zufällige Wahl, ergründet Yann Novak mit seinen fünf neuen Tracks die steten Veränderungen, welchen unsere Welt unterliegt. Egal wie langsam diese teilweise passieren, nichts bleibt, alles wird, wie es niemals war. Spätestens ab dem dritten Lied “The Metaphor of Party” macht sich diese Grundbewegung bemerkbar, die Drones werden stärker, die Musik unausweichlich. Ohne es bewusst zu steuern, ist man in den Klängen versunken und fühlt sich in einer neuen Umgebung präsent.

    Zugleich ist “Slowly Dismantling” eine persönliche Geschichte, eine Auseinandersetzung mit der LGBTQ+-Kultur und den Entscheidungen, welche Yann Novak selbst fällen musste. Eine Rückschau also, welche die Wandlung des Lebens aufzeigt, welche beweist, dass man sich selber voranbringen kann. “Again and Again Until We Feel Nothing” ist als Abschluss darum positiv wie melancholisch zugleich gestimmt, eine Hoffnung und leichte Furcht zugleich. Werden wir jemals konstant sein?
    — Michael Bohli, Artnoir Musik Magazine

  • Yann Novak, amerikanischer, elektronischer Musiker, Komponist und Klanginstallateur hat schon eine Vielzahl an Arbeiten und Alben veröffentlicht. Slowly Dismantling ist sein 29. Album (inklusive Zusammenarbeitens mit anderen Musikern, exklusive Samplerbeiträge und Singles / EPs).

    Auf diesem beschäftigt er sich mit reiner Drone-/Ambientelektronik. Die fünf Stücke gehen alle ineinander über. Dunkle Drones bestimmen die Stücke, die im Untergrund immer die Basis der Stücke bilden. Darüber legt sich zumeist ein weiterer, heller Drone, der die Stimmung etwas freundlicher gestaltet. Dazu werden elektronisches Rauschen und auch versprenkelt andere Geräusche gemicht.

    Das Ganze setzt auf Atmosphäre und wenig auf Aufmerksamkeit und ist daher auch eher zurückgenommen und in keiner Weise überambitioniert. Die dunklen Klänge wabern fast schon angenehm über den Hörer hinweg und laden zum dunkel angehauchten Entspannen ein.

    Sehr ansprechende Drone-/Ambientmusik zum Dahinträumen in den Wintermonaten.
    — Wolfgang Kabsch, Musik an Sich

  • Voor de cover van zijn nieuwe plaat ‘Slowly Dismantling’ gebruikt Los Angeles coryfee Yann Novak een foto van het hotel Washington. Het gebouw stond bekend als dé ontmoetingsplaats voor de homoseksuele gemeenschap in Madison, Wisconsin, de thuishaven van Yann. Het ging in vlammen op in 1996. Tot dan kon je er op restaurant, naar de kapper; het café of een homobar bezoeken. Novak was toen zeventien en was er maar enkele keren geweest. Yann lag niet zozeer overhoop met zijn homoseksualiteit. Wel met de kunst en muziek die werd uitgedragen en een weerspiegeling was van de gangbare weergave van de homocultuur. Dit had zijn weerslag op de manier waarop Novak zich als kunstenaar zou ontwikkelen. Zelf omschreef hij zich als introvert, met een gebrek aan zelfvertrouwen, zichzelf beperkingen opleggend waardoor hij nooit helemaal zichzelf kon zijn in zijn creaties. Daar kwam verandering in toen hij dit voorjaar deelnam aan een holebi muziekbijeenkomst. Het was voor hem een openbaring. Je kon er helemaal jezelf zijn en werd er geaccepteerd zonder beoordeeld of veroordeeld te worden zoals nog te vaak gebeurt in de dominante en reguliere culturen. ‘Slowly Dismantling’ heeft voor Yann dan ook een bevrijdende functie. Het is een herinterpretatie van hemzelf. Alle onzekerheden heeft hij van zich afgeworpen. Routines zijn doorbroken. Aan de hand van pure synthese presenteert Novak een album dat persoonlijker en eerlijker is dan ooit tevoren. Net als de wereld voortdurend verandert, transformeert ook onze identiteit. ‘Slowly Dismantling’ is een uitnodiging om op andere manieren het bewustzijn en ‘het zelf zijn’ te verkennen. Het zijn deze aanhoudende veranderingen die bevrijding mogelijk maken. Muzikaal uit zich dit in geluiden die uit hun context worden gerukt. Deconstructie, reflectie, bevrijding, identiteit zijn de begrippen die aan de basis liggen van het creëren van sonische velden die zich monotoon en statisch aandienen. De synthese die Novak daarvoor gebruikt werd vastgelegd in de Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio (MESS) en de in Stockholm gevestigde Elektronmusikstudion (EMS).
    — Paul Van de gehuchte, Dark Entries

  • Avec Slowly Dismantling, Yann Novak continue d’explorer les ambiances souterraines construites autour de nappes brumeuses, chargées de lenteur mobile et de questionnement identitaire, proposant une direction transversale à la sexualité dans la musique.

    L’artiste américain questionne sur les à priori, lève le voile sur certaines idées reçues avec ses quatre titres d’ambient aux allures de mantra drone, floûte les limites pour les faire disparaitre sous des flots de vagues aux variations légères et nuageuses, gorgées de porosité et d’humidité, de chair et de sang.

    Slowly Dismantling caresse la peau sans chercher à savoir si on est un homme ou une femme, hétérosexuel/le ou homsexuel/le, riche ou pauvre, enveloppant l’atmosphère de modulations frissonnantes à la douceur tranquille et exquise. Envoûtant.
    — Roland Torres, SilenceAndSound

  • Slowly Dismantling è il nuovo album per il prolifico Yann Novak, il queer artist e compositore interdisciplinare di Los Angeles. Da sempre la sua arte si concentra sull’interesse della percezione attraverso l’uso del suono e della luce, Novak esplora come questi materiali immateriali possano agire da catalizzatori per focalizzare la nostra consapevolezza sulla nostra posizione attuale nello spazio e nel tempo.

    È con questo intento che Slowly Dismantling mette in discussione la comprensione dell’atmosfera come omogenea e statica. Riflettendo sulle sue esperienze formative da giovane queer in America centrale, Novak esplora l’idea di spazi acustici e sociali come zone di liberazione all’interno delle quali si forma uno spettro d’identità. Il compositore crea una serie di densi campi sonori che riflettono su come il passato può essere decodificato e utilizzato come dispositivo per contestualizzare il futuro.

    Attraverso le cinque composizioni Novak ci fa fluttuare ricordandoci come nulla sia statico ma che ogni cosa è in continuo mutamento così come le nostre identità.

    Novak fonda la sua musica su ritmi lenti, incentrati sulla sintesi digitale e analogica, attraverso questo processo di smantellamento del suono il compositore americano ha intrapreso un percorso di liberazione da se stesso e una reinterpretazione della proprio persona.

    Il suo è un mondo ambient fatto di droni morbidi (All Things End, Sometimes in Fire) in grado di far pensare l’ascoltatore e mettere in discussione le proprie certezze con un focus che punta sull’ausilio della musica e delle immagini. L’atmosfera in cui ci immergiamo è sicuramente plumbea e tetra, costruita prendendo elementi dalla musiqueconcrète e dalla musica elettroacustica (We All Disappear), con le risonanze e i riverberi per creare profondità (The Methapor of Party). Non manca la sintesi di frammenti sonori (Again and Again Until We Feel Nothing) realizzata per far incontrare la ragione con la parte più emotiva della musica di Novak.

    Slowly Dismantling è un lavoro complesso, sopra la media, che fa riflettere e pensare.
    — Mario Ariano, Radioaktiv

  • Mit seinem neuen Album „Slowly Dismantling“ lädt der amerikanische Sound- und Video-Künstler Yann Novak den Hörer dazu ein, andere Bewusstseinszustän- de zu entdecken – auf jeden Fall Musik, der man Platz geben und für die man sich Zeit nehmen muss. Nur für nebenher taugt sie nicht, aber wer sich Ambientmusik anmacht, der tut das ja be- wusst. Das habe ich für diese Review auch gemacht. Nach einem langen, hektischen Tag in der Stadt zerlegt Yann mit sich langsam entfal- tenden Flächen, unterbaut mit deepen, eher düsteren Bässen und bedeckt mit warmen harmonischen Hö- hen, den Krach des Alltages in psychedelische Sphären. Zudem besticht er durch schönes Sounddesign, dem angenehmem Movement der Tracks und der Kombination von deeperen Vibes in den Bässen und dezenten, harmonischen Vibes in den Mitten und Höhen.
    — Charlie Blind, Faze Mag

  • Slowly Dismantling (Room40) from Yann Novak is his latest plaintive journey into oblivion. His is an alienated ambient, and even a bit more introspective than usual. Novak’s subtle approach shows a deft ear, one that would be best appreciated via headset for a deep listening experience, one might miss some of the finer qualities of a track like Accumulation otherwise. The five works fluidly weave into one another over these forty minutes. When I hear We All Disappear and read the liner notes about his memories of his hometown hotel/bar lost to fire most can relate to the effects of gentrification, urban planning – as well as the greed and the sometimes sinister human nature behind some of these choices. Parts of this simply drift away, disappearing into the abyss. A graceful sleeper.
     TJ Norris, Toneshift

  • In den von ihm selbst verfassten Liner Notes schildert Yann Novak auf geradezu rührende Weise, wie er Slowly Dismantling die Geschichte seiner „Queerness“ nachzeichnet. So zeigt das Cover die Ruine des 1996 abgebrannten Zentrums der LGBTQ+-Community in Madison, Wisconsin. Er sei in jungen Jahren nur ein paar mal ein einem der dortigen Cafés gewesen, habe sich seitdem aber immer wieder gefragt, wie sein Leben verlaufen wäre, hätte das vernichtende Feuer nicht stattgefunden. Anschließend habe er sich mit der Queer-Kultur, die er der Anbiederung an den Mainstream zeiht, sehr schwer getan. Und erst nach und nach in der Musik ein Medium gefunden, um auf nahezu performative Art das Verhältnis von den Zuschreibungen seiner Umwelt sowie den transformativen Charakter seines Egos zu synthetisieren. Doch selbst ohne dieses Wissen bleibt ein subtil wirksames Album aus stark verdicheten Klangfeldern, welches selbst dem Außenstehenden das (nur scheinbar wohlige) Gefühl einer sich selbst stets aufs Neue hinterfragenden Melancholie vermittelt.
    — Stephan Wolf, Headline Knockout in Amusio

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