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Cremation Lily

Review of Fertility Servant by Cremation Lily, Photography Ring by Cremation Lily, and Uncomplicated Explanations by Cremation Lily.

Cremation Lily: Fertility Servant

Cremation Lily: Fertility Servant

I recently went to a gig, it was one of those gigs at a rehearsal studio. I like these kinds of gigs: cheap entry fee, take your own drink and experience artists in a more intimate setting.

This was a noise gig of five different young noise/power electronics artists; W>A>S>P>S, Petals, Knifedoutofexistence, Content Nullity, and Cremation Lily. All of these artists are important in terms of being young noise makers in the UK; the next generation. I had mostly gone to see Cremation Lily, as I was impressed by the Cremation Lily show with Consumer Electronics and Sleaford Mods in Nottingham a few months ago. I’d also read an interesting recent interview in issue eight of Special Interests magazine a few months ago and have heard a lot more material since, so I was keen to see Cremation Lily again in a live setting.

Cremation Lily had the least equipment of all five artists and performed in a candlelit setting. His show was also the shortest, his sound built up through complex combinations of distortion and beautiful melodic loops. It culminated with him screaming in a fit of rage into the microphone, he threw the microphone down continuing to scream his head off and stormed out of the rehearsal room, it was a truly amazing set.

All five sets were great that night and are worthy of further investigation, but I do feel I need to use these three limited edition short releases to analyse Cremation Lily more accurately, as something about his set affected me.

Cremation Lily is a prolific artist active in England since 2009. He releases mostly on his own Strange Rules label which has already become a very collectable label with releases selling out fast and then reappearing on discogs at higher prices. There have been releases on other labels like Fusty Cunt, Total Black and this 7” on Harbinger SoundFertility Servant. The opening track 7th June, 1995 is a combination of shifting echoing tones, feedback and fractured blasts of distortion.Things drop back to fall somewhere between ambient and wall noise methods, whilst vocals make themselves known yet remain incoherent; these and the keyboard tones don’t remain too hidden within the distortion which is refreshing; no mystery is lost as a result. 9th October, 2005 seems to play off different elements perfectly for a time, like sound poetry in the vein of Small Cruel Party. A synth loop fails to gain momentum yet it still breaks up the poetry of sound, its resonant hum pushes things around. Vocals are dragged around and constantly try to rise from the cesspit of sound.

Cremation Lily: Photography Ring

Cremation Lily: Photography Ring

Cremation Lily hints at memories of a dark past through interviews, titles and artwork, the sound of Fertility Servant ties into that well. The murky empty black and white artwork compliments everything perfectly. 4/5

Two tracks make the Photography Ring cassette; Greenwich, London is the first and it begins with what sounds like a recorded radio conversation. Again it’s hard to hear what’s being said, yet it paves the way for an intense build up of sound that is created through a gradual rises in volume and the addition of different sounds that all work in harmony together.

This is an intense void that shimmers with a beauty built through synthesiser or vocal harmonies as they rise in prominence throughout Greenwich.

Hillingdon, London achieves similar results after an intro of choppily distorted conversation. Drones and distortion play off each other as other electronic sounds are introduced. This builds like Greenwich towards similar levels of gorgeousness. Photography Ring to me is the nearest in sound to how I have seen Cremation Lily perform live. It’s noise through the use of some difficult sounds used like shifting radio distortion, forming something you marvel at and can’t help but be taken in by. 5/5.

Uncomplicated Explanations is another recent Cremation Lily cassette release. It’s a lot darker than that of Fertility Servant and Photography Ring, with a lot more masked vocals present and dark ambient build ups within each track. It has a lot more in common with Fertility Servant due to the industrial and darker ambient nature that pervades throughout. The mixtures of sound feel more like sound collages or poems, they purposely lack the cohesion that runs throughout Photography Ring.

The build-ups within each track are a lot more unsettling and the underlying sense of sadness that underpins Uncomplicated Explanations is shared on Fertility Servant, this alludes to the same sense of sadness that exists in the PE work of Ramleh. The sense of beauty demonstrated in Photography Ring is also present, but in a far more ominous form. Masked vocals communicate urgency and anger. Despite some parallels to other releases, this is completely different and stands on it’s own very well. 3.5/5

In true noise fashion, there were a handful of people at the gig, there were plenty of CD-Rs and cassettes available. I bought four Cremation Lily and related releases (all to listen to, not sell on discogs) I am aware that there’s a sense of history alluding to older Power Electronics through similar underpinning sensibilities shared by Ramleh, yet there’s a sense of forward-thinking through the lack of extremity in favour of something far more subtly effective, this truly impresses me. The high quality of Cremation Lily’s material coupled with the rare and explosive live shows ensure that I can never express my support enough.

Cremation Lily: Uncomplicated Explanations

Cremation Lily: Uncomplicated Explanations

Relevant Links:

Cremation Lily – Fertility Servant

7”, 2013, Harbinger Sound. Power Electronics/Noise/Experimental.

  1. A1 – 7th June, 1995
  2. B1 – 9th October, 2005

Cremation Lily – Photography Ring

Cassette, 2013, Strange Rules. Power Electronics/Noise/Experimental.

  1. A1 – Greenwich, London
  2. B1 – Hillingdon, London

Cremation Lily – Uncomplicated Explanations

Cassette, 2013, Strange Rules. Power Electronics/Noise/Experimental.

  1. A1 – My Mother
  2. B1- My Father
  3. C1 – My Brother
  4. D1 – My Sister