Last time we heard the word “blood” repeated this many times the other guys drowned even though we felt guilty for it. Peder Mannerfelt’s slow, purposeful backdrop comes off as the inverse of Liars’ twitchy fin-de-siècle post-punk, and all the better for it. This right here is a new age, both for listeners and for Mannerfelt. His new record, Lines Describing Circles, is the culmination of a purposeful break from his former identity as half of the production duo The Subliminal Kid, whose credits included production for Knife-side project Fever Ray. Now he is solo, and naked as his name. So why the visions of blood?
As the only “vocal” cut on the disc, “Evening Redness in the West” certainly carries some weight on an already heavy-as-hell LP. Verbally, the lead-up is cinematic, a classic, post-digital Leone set-up: BARREN…HORIZON…FILTH…MESA…BOWIE KNIFE…and of course, the infinitely endless BLOOD. Dirty west in spirit, but fetishistic in object repetition, “Evening” reads like the psychoanalysis session of a sideman that slipped through the cracks, away from the gunfire to see open wastelands fill with trash and flesh, the flash of knives and pounding of hearts echoing through buzzing, dusty synths.
First looks might lead some to think of Lines as a thematic continuation of Mannerfelt’s collaboration with Malcolm Pardon in Roll the Dice. But most of that project thrives on spacious improvisation. Solo, Mannerfelt seems far more concerned with a controlled chaos, something pulsating, breathing, contorting, and reconfiguring, all within very confined quarters. The results are thrilling – pick up the LP from Digitalis here.