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beyond the valley of the proles
hymen   2003
  see also
"third mall from the sun"
"relax into the abyss"
hymen website
david thrussell's website

album rating: 3

submitted by anton on 4-Mar-2003

david thrussell's project enters another stage of its evolution becoming a hyperreal fusion of caricature and satire that has gone past the obvious methods of saturation and overexposure; the process takes on another twist of the evolution spiral, attaining additional layers of meanings as it becomes more and more subtle, more and more simple, more and more accessible; with a devious smile and more-than-ever seductive voice and melodies, snog moves into a new dimension of cultural provocation.

I cannot help but compare it with junctions by dead hollywood stars - snog takes its ideas to the extremes - through the initial fascination by the obvious juxtapositions, he gradually adopts the vocabulary to the point of completely blending in and adopting it as a primary means of his self-expression (redefining (tongue-in-cheek, of course) the term "apocalyptic folk").

beyond the valley of the proles draws you in with its immediate pop appeal, and once you have been addicted, the meaning behind the words sneaks in (a hypnotic mantra casting its spell; is it me singing along?!), disguised by languid deep vocals and melodic western-influenced pop with an overall dreamy feel and a gentle electronic touch.

this album is a creation of a bizarre genius, a subversive phenomenon that could be used as a weapon against all manifestations of bad taste - from fanatical excessiveness of goth/power electronics/etc to mindless catchiness of pop culture. beyond the valley of the proles carries a wealth of references and interpretations, a delightful and puzzling treat that makes one question the nature of genres and messages, the nature of expressive means and ideas behind the music.

one is tempted to feed it to those "outside of the genre" (or those unfamiliar with snog) and gauge their responses. after all, the most "complete" (whatever it means) experience requires the knowledge of his previous work as well as the whole "genre" (whatever it is).

snog is the wolf in sheep's clothing that is ever-so-fascinated with the process of becoming a perfect sheep (and he excels at it!). his satire not only operates with pop-culture clichés, but takes the counterculture to the extremes, achieving the same effect. it is the tension between fascination and repulsion that creates the drive, the force behind the music (not unlike original effect, pursued by extremities of industrial?).

it is time to pause, look closer and realize that snog's gradual evolution took it to the point where its irony is aimed at non-existent; what started out as a pastiche has evolved into a genre of its own, mapping out the path of the unknown.

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