David Wallraf - The Commune of NIghtmares
Released: January 26
Bringing us his first album of 2024, German sound artist David Wallraf creates a haunting album that takes on the subject of a shared nightmare among everyone, with some pointing towards our current capitalist system. The vast majority of the album was created through the use of tape loops seemingly plucked from random found sources, some quite literally found in the detritus of cityscapes. The names of each of the tracks make veiled reference to various aspects of the frightening and seemingly hopeless world we occupy, with some being more explicit in their intentions than others such as "Behind the Billionaire's Graveyard" and "Surrounded by the Smell of Servitude." The former starts out very slowly and softly with gentle atmospheric sounds and a bit of out of place vocal segments, but later becomes a noisier and more aggressive bit of sound that grows in intensity until its end.
A particularly poignant track is "In Nightmares Screened By Algorithms," which is a positively unnerving track. Quiet clattering percussion keeps some semblance of a rhythm as sounds akin to long screams ring out in the distance. It, along with much of the rest of the album feels as though it is incredibly dystopian. But this dystopian feeling is all the more unsettling as it never quite clarifies whether this dystopia is in the present or the future. Either way, the album left a small stain on my thoughts - one that would't wash off easily and forced me to consider the hellscape with a somewhat distant but connected view.