From: City of Dis
Metamorphosis and Alabaster Flesh
by Marc-Anthony Macon
This is what I dream when I've bled through my technological stigmata: I am in the Museum of Natural History, sitting near Samurai armor with the ghost of Joseph Campbell. There is a knowing, white fire in his eyes; a smile; a look as if to say, "If only you knew what is ahead, how you would be ignited."
He pulls from his pocket a small, straw horse and places it on the floor. I look up from that sight to find myself on a road, long and snaking; spreading out before me its journey.
There is a precipice over which I hover when I am awake. We are human beings, soaked; cabalistic in the riches and horrors of our evolution – we have an obligation to live our lives in that mythological determination to do more than merely survive.
This kind of living has been in need of a soundtrack. I have finally found it.
If you dream this fervent condition; if you scream to expunge demon and to impart the rapture that is this spinning, resplendent, sublime world; if you are both priest and whore, both cherubim and succubus; help your ears find Sacha Sacket's Alabaster Flesh.
I wouldn't call this an album – I am more prone to describe it as a pilgrimage. Through its sounds, I have heard the footsteps of giants – a fiery ebullience of something intangibly ancestral, yet starkly contemporary. I find myself at loss for a description of this paradigm as I sit, smoke wafting about my face and the opening track, "Primordial" cascading throughout me. Oh, yes; as Sacha sings:
"There's a black forest in my brain/A blue boy that's gone half insane/from a bark both beast and man made/Ripping those woods like a rolling flame."
Call it a musical bridge or the bridge over the river Styx; I am notice. I do not melt easily, but I am confronted with something altogether wondrous with the words "I won't leave like Gilgamesh/He should have just killed himself" – never has nihilism been lulled in such sagacious sexiness.
Jungians delight: Humanity's core is one pulsar, repeating, in synch with our synapses. I hear, "Bleed their words/Saw off that chestnut horse." and I'm in that wildwood, the veil between waking and dreaming is lifted for the duration of two AA Coppertops.
Sacket's astounding vocal range is possibly only superceded by his range of themes, styles and modes. From the dark and Delphic, to the torch song, to the driven and relentless, to the silken siren he covers the breadth of a ravishing enchantment of musical styles.
The album serves as a guide on a journey, beginning with a call to personal pursuit and moving on to the piano-brimming, dualistic dance of "Apollo Girlie": This is the chemistry set with which testosterone and estrogen are fused. Indeed, "The third sex is the creamiest."
Venture onward. This leads us to the ponderous star-structure of "Orion": "we know that death leads to zeros or infinities", through the passionate femme fatale of songs, "Sacrifice": "She builds gardens in her eyes/Spreads her poison ivy thighs/Like she knows vampires well."
"Battleship" pulses out with the dichotomy of masculine frustration: "These Hollywood-made androids" lead us to the desert of bigotry in "The African of 1963" - "Now these fags got a saying,/'The Lord is our Shepard.'/Things started changing/the day Mathew was heard."
Then to the wings of "Who Knows Who", beginning a lofty flight with "You know me, I'm the squirrel that's got your nuts so you're fucked.", down to the riverbed soil of "So Blond": "Blame it on what you cultivate. But look these weeds are still growing you better get out there and ho them away."
We are within the walls of a canvas; the painting, "Color" swirls about us: "They say we dream in black and white. But you came in color last night." – this quiet tempest gives way to the sticky badge of "Military Theme" wherein "the pools of Hana won't wipe off those sins when the murkiness lies behind plastic skin."
This voyage comes to port with the balladic ballast of "The Trickster" - "I just wanna inhale your last dying breath but sometimes I'm scared that your already dead."
Tear open another box of batteries. Snap shut the lid. The "play" button beeps again. Over the waters of the copper angel-guarded fountain of Bethesda Terrace, these sounds carry. This is the alpha and the omega, today.
And what of straw horses? Milestones led me to a passage about Koshin, the Japanese god of roads. When taking a pilgrimage, travelers were wont to leave straw horses on the road to ensure a safe journey. The great city awaits down that path; the megalopolis of the unconscious human soul. This connection is held together by fibers, interwoven from one child to the next through words, images and song. This is the ecosystem of our minds individual, yet one; static, yet dynamic; undulating as the serpent molts.
Horse securely on the road, I take a first step into that all-encompassing and glorious abyss.