SPECIMENS - IN THE DUST OF IDOLS
‘In The Dust Of Idols’ is an album exploring mortality, Existentialism & the dread one can feel in the face of an apparently meaningless world. The journey you embark on when trying to create meaning where there is perhaps none. These initial senses of dread can be brought about by the insignificance you feel in the face of greatness (or perceived greatness), where others have seemingly found meaning and purpose in the face of your own wavering path. Often these can be expressed in grandness and can become historically significant human feats, the fact that they have stood the test of time can become in itself overwhelming when reflecting on your own journey. Whilst these moments in time may hold no specific meaning to you - despite their impressive nature - you are driven into senseless awe.
‘In The Dust Of Idols’ ties in this sense of wonderment coupled with the overarching dread you feel as you contemplate your own existence, where you fit into the significance of society and as Ruth Tallman quotes “the search for answers in an answerless world”.
“I wanted to create something dense & heavy. When you listen through, it makes you feel like it has the weight of time stitched into it” explains Ives. As well as expanding the range of instrumentation used on this, his second album, Ives also enlisted the talents of Cellist Charlotte de Burgh-Holder and experimentalist Joe Summers on the tracks “The Unread Library” and “Twisted Necks” which further adds to the dynamic depth and range on this record.
“Clarity was not my main objective, like an old piece of furniture covered in dust, you can tell what it is but the details are obscured, my ambition was to create a dense sonic backdrop, a representation of the confusion and insecurities we all can feel when questioning our existence - you know there should be answers but you can’t quite make out what they are”. It’s not all dark though and moments of optimism and cracks of light pepper the record giving enough hope to the listener to pursue questioning the unanswerable.
Accompanying the release of the record is a short film set to music from the album, produced and shot by photographer & director Lucie Rox. The film is a visual expression and representation of identity and the many ways this is challenged, perceived and adopted. Whilst taking forward the concepts explored throughout the album, the film looks to reduce the great vastness of confusion and self doubt put forward on the record & focus instead on a more intimate and personal perspective laid bare and shared by both director Lucie Rox & Specimens.
With a heavy focus on race & heritage of which both Specimens & Lucie are mixed - Caribbean & British / African & French respectively - the objective of the film is to show one of the many angles where an individual's search for meaning & identity can be expressed.
‘In The Dust Of Idols’ - released on November 30th 2018 as an international collaboration between SVS and First Terrace Records. Pressed on beautiful white & blue splattered vinyl with artwork from Australian painter Kieran Ingram and mastered by the legendary Lawrence English.