Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
The wait always tends to be so much longer than one would prefer it to be when a change or a move is supposed to happen, or is just simply wanted. There is a grace period - or a holding chamber, maybe an invisible one; a broken ladder, maybe also invisible - that is a precursor/lead-in to anything radically becoming something different. Desolation Wilderness, or the group name encompassing the work of Nicolaas Zwart, lets these dream sequences, no matter how far-fetched or unreasonable, stretch into endless rows to a point where they invisibly trail off into the out-of-sight horizon. They allow boundless thoughts and aspirations to span beyond just space, but also beyond time and reality. There's nothing holding the music of the band to anything tangible or rudimentary, just a sweeping gluttony of random simulations. The songs on White Light Strobing are exercises in mind-warping and time loss, of spontaneous travel and getting into the most bendable quagmires one can cook up. We're not talking about craziness or temptation running wild all over a man and a situation, but more just allowing the tethers to slip away from the grounding and away everything goes, bearing down on the outer atmosphere for whatever could possibly happen up there. It's an unchained response to a feeling of being cooped up in this one robe of skin and thinking these same old ideas day-after-day and looking for an expansion or a alteration to the status quo. Zwart gladly coats his words with enough reverb and mystery to kill an elephant and he remarks while discussing the songs played in this session about his affinity to mind and body rearrangement, a more likely piece of shape-shifting. It seems like such an easy thing for a somebody to become a nobody, short of burning off their own fingerprints and undergoing costly cosmetic surgeries. The songs that Zwart writes gravitate toward the kinds of sensations and sounds that could easily blend into the crowds, that could easily elude those trying to chase them down. These are songs that have decided that they are going to pack a few things to eat, get into a car with a full tank of gas and just leave all of the bills unopened on the kitchen table and the people who will wonder with no clues, just a faint set of tire tracks leading away. They're off and driving, without a plan or any direction. They're just out there amongst all the other strangers, gone and away, drifting between the lines, slipping in and out of the consciousness of others. It's an easy way to be somebody else - by being an asterisk to most everyone else, a chance meeting and a suspected departure. Zwart attaches his shoegazing, romancing of the road fantasies to a cool and even tempo and it feels like a new phrase, something like whiskey feathers. It feels like staring into murky green lake water from the side of a boat, floating away and getting only as far as you want to go.
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