Vienna based duo Rdeca Raketa here with their fine new electronics-and-voice album, …And Cannot Reach The Silence (VENTIL RECORDS V_026 / MAMKA RECORDS MAM 04). We have a lot of time for Maja Osojnik, the lyricist and vocalist of the group, especially her solo records such as Let Them Grow, just one example of how this singular woman is able to deal with very troubling emotions and produce a strong cathartic experience. The same qualities apply to today’s album, particularly the near-confrontational words on ‘The Night is Spilling Across the Room’ which give the listener little choice but to participate and face up to the difficult images which the singer throws in our face.
The unflinching stance continues on ‘Like Gasoline’, but here the music is a wonderful lurching back-and-forth noise of abstract and abrasive electronic sawing, that makes it a shade more accessible – until you start to feel a claustrophobic trap closing around you…nine minutes never felt so insufferable! The press notes confirm that Rdeca Raketa – a name which translates as Red Rocket – are still very concerned with the failure of communication in modern times, the terrible net of misunderstandings and ignorance that hems us all in, a situation compounded by the widespread careless use of social media. The other touchy themes on offer include “violence”, “power”, “subjugation” and “addiction”, a rich stew of inflammatory topics as your starter for ten…while it may be that the duo see all of us as beasts, slaves to our insatiable desires, struggling to attain any sort of happiness and locked into unhealthy inescapable relationships (I’m paraphrasing the gist of the press release now), the music they make is not bleak or hopeless, rather exists as a passionate cry and an exhortation for us all to face up the harsh truth, and lift ourselves from the swamps of despair.
It may seem like I’m giving Maja all the credit for this, so let the record show that Matija Schellander’s adept contributions to the sound are integral, essential… grim but subtle electronic noise, with its influences from industrial music and hip-hop beats, with a rugged analogue capability that aligns perfectly with the dark themes. Modular synths, samples, cut-ups, treated field recordings, modified CD players and processed tapes are among the arsenal of dazzling effects used by this duo as they slug it out across the post-modern alienated urban-scape they perceive, leaving a wake of ruined friendships and dead bodies as they go…after the months of hellish isolation and unbearable loneliness we’ve all endured, here’s the perfect soundtrack for the situation. Enjoy while you can. From 5th August 2021.