Fear Konstruktor / Barrikad - The Path To The Black Lodge [Peripheral Records - 2012]
Peripheral Records presents The Path to the Black Lodge, a collaborative CD by Fear Konstruktor and Barrikad. To be honest, I’m not really familiar with either artist, but I’ve seen the name Fear Konstruktor around the block. Of course, as a dyed in the wool Twin Peaks fanatic, I was intrigued by the obvious references in the title and the cover art. Over the years many artists have used the cult television show as a theme or source of inspiration, so much so, that some might say that it’s been played out. However, as an obsessive fan of the show, I say give me more.
Artwise, the pair uses one of the most striking aesthetic of the series, namely the black and white zig zag pattern found on the floor of the Black Lodge, to adorn the front cover. The Black Lodge is a supernatural place where some of the most villainous spirits in Twin Peaks lore reside. On the inner cover there is a forest scene, likely where the entrance to the lodge resides. The tray insert is draped in red, another color that features prominently in the series. There’s also a line drawing to be found on of the man from another place (aka the dancing midget). If there was any doubt as to what this disc was all about, the aesthetic successfully clues the listener in. As soon as I saw it, I knew this was a Twin Peaks themed release.
On The Path to the Black Lodge, the pair manages to capture the horror and mystery of the Twin Peaks mythos in 5 tracks. Each piece spans 5-6 minutes in length and can best be described as menacing atmospheric drones layered with sci-fi esque (often heavily delayed) synthwork. Perhaps I overuse the term “sci-fi esque,” but when I hear delayed blooped and bleeped synth tones I can't help but think of being on board a space vessel surrounded by machinery that, in my mind, sounds like certain passages of this album. There’s even some moments that fleetingly remind me of the Doctor Who theme (albeit very briefly). All 5 tracks feel somewhat contiguous and follow a similar course, with some tracks having additional metal rustlings in the backdrop, which could signify the Killer Bob creeping upon another victim or Agent Cooper’s tormented dreams.
Anyone familiar with the soundtracks on any of Lynch’s work, will know that he tends to use a lot of dense (exhaust-like) atmospherics, almost like the amplified sounds of an empty room. The sounds he employs build tension and a sense of dread. What Fear Konstruktor and Barrikad have created sounds eerily like something David Lynch himself would use as a soundtrack. They, without a doubt, know how to craft soundwork that fits all too nicely into the nightmares that Lynch imprints onto our psyches.
I would love to see this album performed live in a small, intimate gathering with Twin Peaks clips projected on a screen. The live performance acting as an alternate soundtrack. Someone make it so.