10 Mar 2017

Apokrifna Realnost: "Na Rekah Vavilonskih"

Little regard for current trends in what could be an obscure gem's second wind
It's time to practice some musical archeology - Apokrifna Realnost's only release, Na Rekah Vavilonskih, was originally released in 1988 in a strictly limited run of cassettes in lavish packaging. Now it has been unearthed and re-released by AnnapurnA in 2017, ready for its resurrection and, perhaps, long-due recognition.

The 80s were ripe with new, exciting means of production and recording, as well as groundbreaking new music equipment, accessories and instruments, and in its wake - as a counter to this overproduced concept - a few bands broke with the times and went on a quest backwards to rediscover music and forgotten instrumentation. Most prolific of these bands were genre mainstays like Current 93 and Nurse With Wound, but lurking in the shadows of Macedonia were these dogmatic practitioners of the sacred, Apokrifna Realnost.

"Apokrifna Realnost is much more like an earthly ritual,"

For this type of music I have a very narrow frame of reference, and though it recalls music such as Dead Can Dance, it is much more austere and less celestially heavenly. Where Dead Can Dance often plays as heavenly music from above - A trip into God's own realm - Apokrifna Realnost is much more like an earthly ritual with practitioners weary from religious devotion.

The EP is very down to earth, grounded especially in that part of Earth that is eastern Europe. Their mystic church-music bears a recording quality like one might expect from an obscure cassette from the late 80s; It's never pristine or crystal clear, but reverberates like chants from a candle-lit sermon in a dank, run-down, but at the same time oddly extravagantly adorned church a hundred years ago when people gave themselves to God.

"With religious devotion they cast away the dogmas of the 80s,"
With these types of counter-cultural waves, many groups often come off as trying to be different just for the sake of being different, but Apokrifna Realnost are never anything but completely authentic in their delivery and performance. With religious devotion they cast away the dogmas of the 80s in favour of something that reaches way back.

This one is a highly sought after gem with good reason. It has all the trademarks; Obscure south-eastern European pressing in a stricly limited pressing, weird, existential music that counters any known trends and fluctuations in the wiles of music, a packaging that is absolutely to die for, esoteric teachings and concepts, and last but not least, the only release from a band that never came to be anything but obscure. Musically the EP has a lot to prove - And so it does with its weird musical presentation.


Released in 1988 independently / 2017 by AnnapurnA


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