Baxter Lilly – Unsichtbare Flecken

Baxter Lilly - Unsichtbare Flecken

CD, Audiotrauma, 2008
www.myspace.com/baxterlilly

About the most memorable thing about this album is the juxtaposition of two almost diametrically opposed moods: on the one hand, you have the naked, searing aggression of digital hardcore tearing its way through your synapses, whilst on the other you are faced with excerpts from vaudevillian carnival soundtracks, evoking buried childhood memories… Which are subsequently flayed alive by the sheer violence of Fleur Feijen’s vocal anguish. This is, technically, the biggest drawback Baxter Lilly face: as in most male/female vocal pairings, one always dominates the other, making the subordinate almost redundant. A pity, as the deep, masculine growls add an extra dimension that could be exploited further.
Overall, it isn’t easy listening: as described above, the music carries an unsettling quality reminding us that people who miss being young were never really children, subject to the irrational, but very real, terrors of childhood. As a result, it is difficult to entirely immerse yourself in “Unsichtbare Flecken” – but a more superficial relationship with this album, based more on its delivery of hard, distorted, dance beats than actual intellectual content, is easily formed.
That said, taking the time to confront one’s fears and actually settle down with “Unsichtbare Flecken” does have its rewards. Rather than the immediate association of evil incarnate, manifested as sewer-dwelling clowns, the overall mood of Baxter Lilly’s music is one of celebration – dark, antisocial and rebellious, admittedly, but for the most part, positive. This is a distillation of discontent and angst translated into music, making for a cathartic experience for both performers and audience alike.
So, despite initial misgivings, Baxter Lilly tends to ingratiate itself with repeated listening, eventually becoming a welcome change of pace. Sadly, in today’s disposal society, even in the underground fringes thereof, your average consumer may not be willing to devote the required time and effort to the album to discover its finer points.

[7/10]

— David vander Merwe