One may have probably stumbled upon the name Ultrademon for she was once the face of the seapunk aesthetic. Lilium Kobayashi is now back to that moniker, and her latest full-length recording Chamber Music is out via Kyoto-based label Soft Architecture. But since she has conveyed that very specific internet culture through both her music and appearance, beware of thinking that nothing has changed in the meanwhile.
Despite seapunk being already the expression of a looming apocalypse, she has departed from that imagery depicted with the chirping of vintage technology, to approach a sound that plunges into a more conventionally intended darkness. Opening with the notes of an organ and passing by the clash of sampled swords, the memory of a medieval atmosphere is set. Abrasive distortion makes guitar-like synths become heavy signals often used as rhythmic parts. Whilst this crease seems to do most of the talking, the album has the fuzzy and airy look coming from pieces recorded live.
The narrative also shifted to personal contents and, apparently, the intent is slightly less misleading compared to the previous oneiric palette. This time it suggests she wants to get rid of anything she has been infected with, the experiences are delivered with the inherent violence of something that has not been swallowed at all.
I imagine her observing closer details and ruffles rather than the whole story, as through a magnifying glass, and because of that it all started to burn when exposed to the sun. This feeling of focus and enlargement comes from the way the album is packaged: each of the fifteen tracks is devoid of any development that would take an ample space, given that the allowed one has the average length of two and a half minutes. While we’re getting used to a form of electronic music that takes longer breaths, this project gave its tracks the necessary strength to stand on its own briefness. Finally, this fact helps to enhance the fragmentations, and eventually the isolation of the Feudalism recalled in the songs’ titles.
As Ultrademon attempts at drifting apart from club music, which is barely mentioned in scattered sub-bass, industrial techno clanging pitches and some EDM euphoria, Chamber Music encapsulates the research of timbre and inclinations that sound doomed and victorious at the same time.