Japanese producer Gorgonn and Berlin-based visual artist Utku Önal contort nightmarish imagery and eerie sound into a contemporary ghost story.

Back at the beginning of the year Japanese producer Gorgonn released Six Paths, a dense, crushing collection of bass experiments and soundsystem artillery that serves as both a treatise on Japanese Buddhism and as the culmination of years of “sci-fi steppas” and collaborations with some of the most ferocious practitioners of heavyweight bass experimentation, including The Bug, JK Flesh and DJ Scotch Egg.

The six paths of the album’s title refers to the various branches that, according to the Japanese Buddhist faith, the soul is drawn down after death, depending on the karma accrued during one’s lifetime. Between an afterlife spent in the world of the celestials, or among the demigods, an eternity spent in suffering during a karmic cleansing in jigoku, a hellish purgatory presided over by the Japanese lord of death, Emma-ō, or a liminal existence wandering the earth as a hungry ghost, it’s reincarnation as another human, or animal, that Gorgonn takes aim at on the foreboding surge of a ‘Life As A Beast.’

Driven by queasy low-end, throbbing feedback and eerie ambience, Berlin-based visual artist Utku Önal spins a creeping ghost story of mundanity out of haunted GAN animation and cursed imagery, contorting his own vision of a living hell. Here, crumpled metal melts into pale flesh, crash test dummies blurred into actual car crashes. Sheets of plastic billow into concrete and steel and back again, while police tape slices through twitching body bags.

Hyenas shining with cold light stretch out fur-covered arms with human fingers, snakes writhe wrapped in coiled chains and one hundred family meals bleed into one another in a emotionless frenzy of feeding. Unfolding slowly, part nightmare, part contemporary ghost story, Önal casts thick shadow on the realities of life as a beast, whether human or animal, begging the question of which of the six paths are we currently travelling down, as well which we might in the next life.

‘Life As A Beast’ is taken from Six Paths, which is out now on SVBKVLT. You can find Gorgonn on Instagram.

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