Coexist, Refrain by shallov - Weltschmerzen [WS023] FLAC download included with physical items

Coexist, Refrain

A 2 track post-rock album (21m 17s) — released May 17th 2024 on Weltschmerzen

The Slovak band Shallov releases their new track "Refrain" on the experimental label Weltschmerzen just one year after the release of "Coexist". Two tracks that both span more than 10 minutes in length, work together as one coherent audiovisual art piece and are out as an EP on 10" vinyl. Music videos do not only visually supplement both tracks but they are equally autonomous art pieces.

The visual feature of the music pieces is highlighted by the vinyl's cover painted by Slovak artist Michal Fízik. The previous back cover carries a photograph which served as an inspiration for the painting while the current back has been created via AI reinterpretation.

The musical component of Refrain is based on a repetition building into a hypnotic trance, gradually disintegrating so it eventually ends in a monumental climax. It contrasts the band's previous work as well as the track Coexist which uses rather neverending rhythmic variations, and a changeable vibe and atmosphere.

The concept of the visuals in Coexist is a result of a collective fusion between the theatre director Adam Dragun, Viktor Ori and dozens of other participating non-actors. The video depicts individualistic egoist actions shaping a contradicting and incomprehensible totality of the world which ultimately seems to be alienated to everybody.

Refrain is an introspective journey leading to the dissolution of the individualistic experience of human existence. The video's concept, direction and production was conducted by the visual artist and performer Jak Užovič who also tends to inter-media art and object installations.

As Shallov and Jak Užovič explain the track's conceptual background: "The idea of owning one's own body and mind is an unnatural way of looking at ourselves imposed by the dominant paradigm. It's a blind ideology - the view of a body as a machine or a commodity is incomplete and represents a materialistic utopia which is being systematically internalized. We're not a community that acts right or wrong, our intentions are determined by an ideology which pretends not to exist - our relations are relations of masters and slaves, of domination and exploitation. We are a society bound by these features and even though we refuse to admit it, the world presented to us is only a legend we're striving to keep alive at all costs, while believing that there is no alternative. Our quality doesn't stem magically from the inside, on the contrary, it's determined by the conditions within which we interpret it through collectively shared fictions. We don't get to know our consciousness through ourselves, but we recognize it through others as they create and form us."

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