After a brief hiatus, something disturbing emerges from the odd crossroads of space-time…
STRANGE MESSAGES (or “egnartS segasseM”) is the newest release from Ashevillain sonic shapeshifter JOHAN ESS. This album might be Johan’s weirdest work yet, and that’s saying something. Johan has released more than a dozen albums under various monikers over the last 12 years, ranging from cynical IDM opera to breakcore to freak folk and industrial metal. He’s probed the murky depths of countless genres of electronica, noise, and industrial while sharing the stage with artists like Otto von Schirach and Hanin Elias of Atari Teenage Riot. Now, after many nights in the pyramid chambers of his home laboratory, Johan has emerged with STRANGE MESSAGES: an aural journey to another dimension.
The album opens with “Spear”, a churning cloud of sound and alien voices that draws the listener ever deeper into an abyss. From the blackness it emerges with “True Porpoise”, a cetacean celebration manifested in an oddly danceable proto-industrial thumper. Further down the “Spiral” we find “Strange Messages” – Alien voices sing a hypnotic lullaby over crashing waves of wobbly bass and vintage drum machines. We awaken to the agitated nightmare of “Demon Dust” and “Thing”. We drift across a frozen mirror dimension filled with “Shapes” into a bubbling laboratory of “Deformation” ending in… Potato Chips?