Meant as a soundtrack to humanity that once was, “A State Of Decrepitude” is a concept album by Amsterdam-based duo Phil van Dulm and Alexander Bartels (aka Wanderwelle). Moreover it deals with the many faces of deterioration, the various aspects of impermanence and facets of decay. From the start there’s a dark, haunting and dense veil hanging over the full 54-minute soundscape that’s made up of a vast amount of collected field recordings along a selection of archival recordings to revive episodes of ruin from bygone eras that fell victim to the ravages of time.
Sonically it doesn’t turn out a menacing, dystopia-ish affair as “A State Of Decrepitude” airs distinct moods of comfort and mourning through its veins. This introspect aural cocoon envisions the beauty of decay as we should remember nothing lasts forever. Among the 12 tracks I consider the piano-led and rather Eno-esque “The Becoming” along the rather 36-like “Waves, Disappearing” and “Exile” highlights, both expiring contemplative, ethereal but desolate realms.
Although this recording may prove not that uplifting in these unstable, insecure times of corona crisis I feel its strong narrative current is rewarding while repeated, deeper (headphone)listening will reveal an inner sense of solace. In the words of the composers: what can seem like closing credits to our world today, can in fact help shine a light on the fragile beauty we find in the everyday.
Sonic Immersion © 2020