Thursday, May 19, 2016

Tropic of Cancer. "A Color." 2012.

There are so many things I love about this video.  The tones of black and white occasionally flashing into color, the grids, the boxes, the expressionless faces, the performers who seem to have come out of a painting by Khnopff, their elegant clothes, and of course, the smooth beauty of the minimal music.  I'm also fascinated by the atmosphere of metaphysical dread, the airless claustrophobia, the mausoleum-like room, the sense of ritual outside the bounds of earthly existence.

Tropic of Cancer is basically a solo project by Camella Lobo, assisted in live performances by Taylor Burch, of Dva Damas (another band worth mentioning at some point).  Initially, TOC was a duo with Juan Mendez, but they quickly outgrew each other, and Camella continued alone.  Accurately described by The Quietus as "excessively morbid and dark," Tropic of Cancer's music relentlessly and repetitively embraces a mood of bleak, hopeless despair.  That's one part of the experience.  The other part, which is important, is that the music is also glamorous, lush, romantic, and serenely decadent.  It's not for everyone's taste, but gentle brokenhearted souls will feel like they belong there.  Also for fans of minimal electronic, drone, shoegaze, postpunk, ambient, darkwave, and goth.