Atila – V

Boy we needed a dose of this.  Too much dark synthwave anymore, has anyone noticed that?  How could you not?  With the quickness of the Internet, as soon as something catches, it’s everywhere, it burns through the kindling of memes and vines like a giant backdraft that’s somehow appeared in an open space.  Give it a few years, when people realize they can just listen to 1980s horror and sci-fi soundtracks and it’s the same thing, for cheaper, and it will die.  That, or the redundancy, will do it, because that always does.  So we’ve been ignoring some of those recent submission coming from the “let me try it too” crowd, we needed something truly dark, not kitsch, with a good sense of where electronica stands these days, irrespective of popularity.  Electronic witchery is what we’re after, pagan techno ritual, cybernetic artificial limb sacrifice. Known by some as ‘witch house’, the “genre” has been considered lacking of meaning, but that’s only because you’ve listened to bands who don’t understand the process.  Too few musicians/bands think all it takes is some retrofitted artwork or old synths in a dark space, but there’s more to it than that.  One needs to feel the computer, to be the computer, veins turning into wires and blood into lubricant, until the pulse flowing into your fingers syncs with the electronics themselves, and you become one, yet separate.  No longer a man, no longer a machine.  Atila is such a machinemanmachine, an electronic ghost casting beat spells.


Atila, one-man electronics undead warlock from Portugal, is also known under the moniker of Örök, a project of his where the focus is closer to a combination of black metal and noise (also awesome).  As much as we’d like to comment further, we are here concerned with his most recent work, V.  Before delving into this dark machinery, you might want to check out his first four releases, all titled with Roman numerals, which were digital-only releases (or at least currently they still have this distinction).  V is available in digital format, as well as limited cassette from Bisnaga Records and a limited CD from Signal Rex.  Describing his work as “witchcrafting through sonic manipulation” we knew we were in the right place, far away from retro fellation and just plain old house. We wanted to dwell in the house of the witch.


V is splendid for how much it achieves in simplicity.  Atila works with minimal electronics in this release, successfully fusing the soul of both computer and man into a single, dead entity.  He’s achieved some sort of state of ethereal, blackened nirvana to where he is no longer alive, but simply restless dead that refuses to give up its own ghost as it worships all things electrical.  What’s great here is how Atila used basic tempo to hide complexity, which includes spectral moaning and a ritualistic atmosphere, something like a rave in a squat cemetery, which went something like this.  Atila, now fully formed from his fledging days of electronic study, entered a dark space, the location of which does not matter entirely, where the lighting was restricted to deep blues and purples.  With his components before him, he began to create, the pulse of his simple beats vibrating through the crowd, restructuring and direct their hearts to become one with the dead.  In the darkness, a mist rose, part fog machine, part electrical fire, as the tempo continued, the mother beat of the dark womb of the club the only sense of order, a slight blip within an atmosphere of dying machines and man.  Atila ignored his impending suffocation as his lungs heaved and continued to craft his beats until his body was consumed, the smoke/fog entering his lungs and killing off his oxygen supply, but yet something there was alive and moving, so fused was he to his electronics and so reliant on mechanical existence over organic.  Before the crowd his body fell, and in its place rose a musical specter, ghostly fingers running over buttons and keys, hollow pits for eyes glowing with preternatural, purple light, with a slight, white pulse visible deep within, connected to the beat.  As the beat dies at the end of V, the spiritual presence that was once Atila fuses with his electronics, entering the wires and traveling to the next location to haunt anew. With each spin of the cassette or CD (soon to be released), you can possess whatever technology you fancy with his undeath.


Atila Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Atila: V
Bisnaga Records, Signal Rex
4.8 / 5