Empusae + Nick Grey – Simple Black Lines in a Diagram

Empusae + Nick Grey - Simple Black Lines in a Diagram

3″ CD, Brume Records, 2007
www.brumerecords.com

“Simple Black Lines in a Diagram” is the latest EP offering from Brume Records, featuring the combined work of Sal-Ocin of Empusae (and Tzolk’in, and Ah-Cama Sotz, and This Morn’ Omina…) fame and Nick Grey, owner of Milk and Moon Recordings and mostly heard through his work with 48 Cameras as well as some inspired collaborative works. And how very inspired this particular collaborative work is.
“Simple Black Lines in a Diagram” clocks at barely 23 minutes with its 3 tracks, yet it manages to have an impact that is nothing short of sadly unattainable for far too many full length releases. Macabre as it may sound, the disc plays out like a real life tragedy, captivating the listener, shortly drawing him into glimpses of the greater picture, revealing more and more of its devastating truth, and abruptly letting silence deliver the entirety of the message. From Sal-Ocin’s rhythmic and synth work to the piano and writing of Nick Grey, along with the vocals, every musical and lyrical element of this album is delivered spectacularly, forming a whole that is heavily deep and melancholic without feeling forced at any point, sounding natural and true instead, as if the music was wrenched from within bleeding hearts and agonized minds.
The true marvel in this work is that despite the emotionally-ladden atmosphere of the record and the expected orientation of the two artists to a very eclectic audience, it manages to be surprisingly accessible, instead of the usual alien feel that such focused and limited releases sport. This is a disc that can and is almost meant to hit the mainstream, if only to showcase and share the enjoyment of this gem that would normally go undetected by the mass electronic music media and market.
This release is meant for cult status, and that is without even mentioning the excellent artwork and drawings of the original packaging, courtesy of [Massen Grab] and Katelijne de Corte, as well as the top-notch mastering done by IC 434.

[10/10]

— George Mouratidis