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Kh’lulu, the sonic cannibal

Published February, 2015
by Easterndaze

Decay, decomposition, destruction. Kh’lulu is a fledgling 20-year old musician based between Moscow and Belgrade. The triple CD-r release entitled Putridity has been brought out by the Belgrade-based label/collective NAUK (they also published an amazing anthology of Serbian outsider music from the late 80s/90s). This opus magnum is accompanied by the essay “Music: an overexcited corpse”, which starts with a Wittgenstein quote. Its breadth is astounding – from the Parisian World Expo in 1889 and the “circus attraction” of Balinese dancers to intonarumori of the Futurists via Edgar Varese, John Cage to the DIY aesthetics and techno. Music has died, devoured by cannibalistic urges of its producers, distributers and consumers and its corpse has been left rotting albeit giving life to worms / new life. The musical essay aims to provide context, but perhaps in combination with the title of this work, it might also express Kh’lulu’s need to break free, to unlearn and deconstruct the enormous body of 20th century musical history and his knowledge of it.

With Putridity, he turns into a bricoleur, twisting and tweaking the gear he has on hand, retaining the grainy sound of the analogue, a lo-fi trickster that has more in common with the creative primitivism of tribes of Papua New Guinea than hi-definition sonics of the engineers from the Western world. In a sense, the record also could be the progeny of NAUK’s aforementioned anthology Crni Pek, drawing from the rich heritage of Serbian post-punk and raw electronic experimentalism.

“Cannibalistic tribes in Bali believe that winter is a sacral season, when the bravest warriors who get killed travel to the next world.”