Some days ago, a lead pursued from Ferenc Fehér’s page on Soundcloud – in the band Tripes, based in Kaposvár, Hungary, and now a duo, both he and Marcsingó András compose and play the music, while András sings – took me to another whose home base is some distance away, in Tatabánya, called Nostromo 7; the name, with its particular literary provenance, attracted my attention like a clue, but it was the duo’s music itself which held it, for the sound created by Péter Lipovics, a composer and sound designer, and Gábor Szabó, a singer and lyricist (and a director of film and video), can exert an ominous hypnotic power over the listener: or at least that is what I found in making the acquaintance of the album, Cinemind, which, sonically and thematically, runs from dark to darker and nearly engulfs the few lighter notes that flicker through here and there.
This is an experimental electronic music with a markedly goth verve, pervaded by more than a little of das Grauenhafte, and accordingly it’s not surprising to find one of the videos on the duo’s Youtube channel (which I’ve included in the playlist) reaching back to Murnau’s Nosferatu for its visual content; that film may be taken as an emblem of the innumerable works of horror – whether of art, of film, of music (to mention only some of the fields of the aesthetic in the most restricted sense of the term) – which have permeated all our minds from their beginnings, such that fright’s fascination is something few could readily escape (by now it may even have become one of the most imperious of human needs), even should they really, seriously want to.
However, at least we can become more aware of its sway over us; and it seems to me that this may in fact be one of the intentions behind Nostromo 7’s album (issued by Electro Arc in Frankfurt, in conjunction evidently with Shinto Records in Minneapolis), which delves into the “inner movies lost in space and time” (in the duo’s own phrase) perhaps precisely in order to extrude those “films” – the various scenarios of horror which might be the more powerful in their effects for having been “forgotten” – into – not into the light, for where is a strong light to be found anymore, but into the dimness all around us, wherein, even if our eyes cannot, our ears may just be able to perceive them.
Clear vision is probably the last thing one can expect given the pace and the pressure of our present-day society – when, in Conrad’s eponymous novel,* now more than a century old, Nostromo avers “I never forget a place I have carefully looked at once,” the claim is likely to elicit at most an ironic half-smile from today’s readers, for places which would be capable of sustaining that careful regard are more and more conspicuous by their absence from our world.
* Part ii, chap. 8.
Yet here our ears might prove to be the more acute organ of perception; if one listens closely to music such as theirs, one might discern something like the first rumblings of a thunder that’s as yet still far off but on the move towards us – and then one may want to ponder the line of Shakespeare’s which Conrad set as the epigraph to Nostromo: “So foul a sky clears not without a storm.”*
* King John, act iv, scene 2.
“Melt Away,” with additional vocals by Erzsébet Vas.
“Ocean Blue,” likewise with Vas’ participation.
“Second Face,” with Anita Járóka on violin, and additional vocals by Josef Stapel.
Lastly, there is also a “So Strange Mix” of “Longing.”
Postscript. Ferenc Fehér kindly sent word that in Tripes he is not the singer but composes and plays the arrangements instead; the vocals are handled by Marcsingó András, while Krisztián Pravda has stepped back from active participation in the band: thus I have corrected the text above.