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.