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Apostils Against Hegemony, Vol. I: Transitive Properties

Vari­ous Artists
Apos­tils Against Hege­mony, Vol. I: Trans­it­ive Prop­er­ties
2020, Akashic Envoy

Hit the play but­ton above and indulge me for a spell, okay?

A lot of trans cul­ture is about sex and death. This is not the time nor the place to explain in depth why that is, but trust me on this. These are major top­ics for many people, surely, but they feel par­tic­u­larly poignant when you’re part of a group of people who have to fig­ure out new ways of relat­ing to their own body, and to their own exist­ence, period. After com­ing out almost three years ago, we—I’m speak­ing for us at Even­ing of Light col­lect­ively now, from my own perspective—spent a lot of time, energy, and emo­tions enga­ging with that cul­ture of sex and death, and it has been essen­tial growth, if that’s the word to use. We’ve loved and lost and almost lost ourselves, to put things pith­ily.

But recently we’ve real­ised that hav­ing just those things in com­mon with oth­ers is not enough for us to form the kind of inter­per­sonal con­nec­tions that we desire. I in par­tic­u­lar want to go as deep as pos­sible with people, and a huge part of that is a shared engage­ment in art and cre­at­ive spir­itu­al­ity, music fore­most among those. We’ve never stopped caring about music, to which the con­tin­ued if some­times stut­ter­ing exist­ence of this web­site is the main test­a­ment. And mov­ing for­ward, we want to ded­ic­ate more of our life to it.

How does this tie in to this new com­pil­a­tion by Akashic Envoy, which cel­eb­rates the label’s first anniversary? Quite simply, it is a syn­chron­icity. Apos­tils Against Hege­mony, Vol. I: Trans­it­ive Prop­er­ties comes at a time when the above thoughts were already boun­cing around in my mind. It is a 3+ hour col­lec­tion of work by LGBTϘIA+ artists, many of them trans like us. Its sales are donated to a char­ity that works towards the pre­ven­tion of sui­cide among our young kin.

It feels close. It feels like a warm reminder that there are many of us out there with a shared love for musical expres­sion and exper­i­ment­a­tion. It is a cul­ture where our ϙueer pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with sex and death is not just lived but cast through a vari­ety of cre­at­ive lenses, and I love it. The exist­ence of this music itself, and queer art pro­jects like it, will maybe go even fur­ther towards show­ing our sib­lings that life is worth liv­ing than any money ever could. This is what I want to be a part of.

The music itself then? There’s a lot of good stuff on here. Com­pil­a­tions like these are a lovely reflec­tion of a label’s net­work, and in the case of Akashic Envoy this leads to mater­ial that is mostly in the realm of (dun­geon) synth and vari­ous shades of metal and goth. Pretty much my spe­cific ter­rit­ory, in other words.

I’ve selec­ted a few ini­tial favour­ites below based on early rota­tion, but these are mostly a vari­ety of addi­tional verbal bait to get you to hit the play but­ton in the player above if you ignored my earlier instruc­tions, and buy, and listen to the whole thing, and pick your own faves:

  • 02. The Bed­room Witch - Sea of Insects
    Hadewych shone some light on TBW’s dreamy synth pop before, and we’re all dig­ging this track off of her latest album.
  • 06. Under­d­ark - The Smell of Autumn
    I’ve heard this one before on their split with Antre, but it’s still a gor­geous mel­an­cholic black metal trip.
  • 07. Putres­cine - Her Still­born Body
    It feels like the center­piece of this com­pil­a­tion some­how. Engross­ing and tight death metal. Check out this fea­ture on Astral Noise for a deep dive into the lyr­ics. Those cut deep, believe me.
  • 17. Vul­gar­ite - His Words Are a Void
    Oof. This is that proper blackened funeral stuff that I lap up for break­fast. Abso­lutely crush­ing.
  • 21. Jenn Taiga - Six of Swords
    Abso­lutely clas­sic Ber­lin-school­ish arpeggio/wave synth work on this mys­ter­i­ous track.
  • 23. Thaumiel Sonozaki - Chiaroscuro
    The most beau­ti­ful and serene out of the dun­geon synth works gathered here.
  • 25. Ashes of Cain - Sprüche
    Choirs first, and then deeper vocal exper­i­ments. One of the most sur­pris­ing tracks on here, and one of the best, too.
  • 26. ESSES - Pierce the Feel­ing
    Ain’t noth­ing wrong what­so­ever with this slab of deathy goth rock.

Apos­tils Against Hege­mony, Vol. I: Trans­it­ive Prop­er­ties’ is out now digit­ally through Akashic Envoy Records. All sales go towards The Tre­vor Pro­ject, a non-profit focused on sui­cide pre­ven­tion among LGBTQAI+ youth.

Reviewed by Genevieve