“We age slowly. First, our pleasure in life and other people declines, everything gradually becomes so real, we understand the significance of everything, everything repeats itself in a kind of troubling boredom. It’s the function of age. We know a glass is only a glass. Then our bodies age: not all at once. First, it is the eyes, or the legs, or the heart. We age by installments. And then suddenly our spirits begin to age: the body may have grown old, but our souls still yearn and remember and search and celebrate and long for joy. And when the longing for joy disappears, all that are left are memories or vanity, and then, finally, we are truly old. One day we wake up and rub our eyes and do not know why we have woken”. Sandor Marái, Embers

Houses Of Heaven – “Silent Places”
Felte Փ Post-Punk | Industrial
FFO: “Pretty Hate Machine” or The Soft Moon

I had just come down the stairs of Tooting Bec station to catch the next train heading north London. As I turned the corner leading to the platform, I saw a man on his knees. He was wearing sweatpants with the S.S.C. Napoli crest on it, had a tiny sword tattooed – more like a gladius, really – on his right heel and a black t-shirt that said “BROADWAY”. He was facing a billboard advertising newish, whitish, wirelessish headphones. He was genuflected, with his arms along his body and a small plastic bag on the grey floor. The electronic screen announced that the train bound for Edgware would arrive in one minute. It was Sunday and there were few people in the station. I stepped into the carriage and the man stayed behind.

Múspellzheimr – “Silent Places”
Self-released Փ Black Metal

It was one of those typical rainy days in Ostend that would have inspired Léon Spilliaert’s paintings. Facing the North Sea, I was smoking Pall Mall under a small granite arcade. The tobacco smoke rolled perversely in a thick fog, a sort of marriage decreed at birth between two vaporous substances with a will of their own. A hundred meters away, a black taxi stopped right next to a puddle of water. A woman came out on the right side, touching the sidewalk with her porphyry-crimson boots. She put her black coat over her head and, in the sudden rush to escape the flood, dropped a newspaper. I waited for her to walk away. When I approached the scene, I picked up the soggy newspaper and read one of the news: “Japanese ambassador commits suicide during a diplomatic dinner in Laos”.

Wanderwelle – “A State Of Decrepitude”
A Strangely Isolated Place Փ Ambient
FFO: Isorinne, Loscil

I was dining alone in Olbia, a small coastal town in Sardinia. It was a cozy family restaurant consisting of eight square tables, five of them occupied by a total of sixteen people – me included. The service obeyed the traditionalist Mediterranean pattern: a sexagenarian woman in the kitchen; a man in a white coat behind a counter filled with different and intoxicating cheeses; a younger maid who served the customers at the table. Because it was a coastal town, I had decided to try the local octopus. When the waitress, about 1.70 meters tall, brought me the main dish, she also put down a small white paper. On one of the lines, written with a pen, I read the following: “We know”.

Brainbombs – “Cold Case”
Skrammel Records Փ Noise Rock
FFO: Blood mixed with shit mixed with blood

The doctor assured me there was no cause for concern. Moles like the one that had appeared next to my sternum were extremely common and most likely not serious. “Melanoma”? Oh, forget it, don’t worry. Just carry on with your normal life. Anyway, since one side’s a little irregular, I’ll have you do a biopsy just to be sure”. All this I’m reporting now is probably a figment of my imagination and not so much of what happened in the office. The truth is, while Dr. Laet was talking about my case, I was more entertained by a small object that was on his desk: a human liver scale model.

Turia – “Degen Van Licht”
Eisenwald Tonschmiede Փ Atmospheric Black Metal
FFO: Ash Borer, Sortilegia, Urfaust

I must confess that one of the reasons I stopped using headphones was to listen to other people’s conversations. I was on bus 25 when, at the Aldgate Station stop, a couple apparently from Eastern Europe entered. Poland, I’d say. They sat on the upper deck, on the seat immediately in front of me. They were talking at medium volume in a hissing language. He was carrying a brown bag with a 50 cl beer can in his hand, she was touching her phone screen. Suddenly, a sudden brake caused us to sway abruptly forward. Her cell phone fell and slid quietly to my right foot. I bent down to pick it up and couldn’t help but see a picture of four hooded men in an apartment. Down in the street, the bus driver was gesturing and waving, furious at another driver. A side-view mirror was on the tarmac.

Rhucle – “Predawn”
Lontano Series Փ Ambient
FFO: William Basinski, Tim Hecker

A friend of mine had convinced me to go see a neo-surrealist play (now that I think about it, I don’t know if this was the genre). I don’t remember the title either, but I know it was at the Deutsches Theater in Munich. The room was sold out. We sat in the middle of row number 13. To my left was my friend. On my right side, a man in his fifties who had brought his umbrella with him. Ten minutes after the beginning, as I watched four actors talking extemporaneously about the final bankruptcy of the capitalist system while cutting their own clothes with a kitchen knife, I fell asleep. I woke up again when the sound effects of a storm echoing through the theater. There was now someone dressed as a polar bear on stage, apparently in the middle of Wall Street, biting the buildings off. The scene ended in silence. The man next to me coughed. I fell asleep again. When I woke up at the end, I clapped.