RMFTM - Subversive III: De Spelende Mens

by Rob Taylor Rating:7 Release Date:2017-12-01
RMFTM - Subversive III: De Spelende Mens
RMFTM - Subversive III: De Spelende Mens

Self-proclaimed insurgents at the outer limits of space rock and industrial noise, RMFTM release the third instalment of their ‘Subversive’ trilogy. RMFTM lay out an unsettling ambient backtrack against which all manner of alien and mechanical sounds perpetrate disruption.  Whilst it could be said that their rhythmic structure owes much to Krautrock, they are essentially accidental tourists across that genre, being very much within their own musical conceptions. The sound is experimental and free. There’s nothing to hum to; rather it’s the hum of dissonant noise that injects itself into your consciousness, like some sinister nanotechnology.

The album Subversive III: De Spelende Mens reveals much by its title. Drawn from a book written in 1938 by Dutchman, Johan Huizinga, ‘The Playful Man’ examines human behaviour relieved of the burden of servicing primary needs - where playful endeavours and the exercise of free will take precedence. By analogy, I imagine the album avoids preconceptions about writing and playing music for a marketplace, and the musicians simply express musical ideas in a free-spirited and spontaneous way unconcerned with what is, or isn’t viable. Of course, if said musicians were empty of ideas those outcomes would remain very much a private concern. Fortunately, RMFTM have good skill, equipment and recording principles.

The best piece for me is ‘Transgression Cave’, a nightmarish excursion of minimalist percussion and throbbing, droning noise which seemingly leads nowhere and yet imprisons and engages the imagination. Each section has its own dark evocation, but leaves its impact open to the playful urges of the listener. For me though, epic piece ‘Black Canvas Dark Majesty’ is the sound of plummeting inexorably into the orbit of a beautiful but unforgiving foreign planet.

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