Surgeon has announced his new album Luminosity Device, to be released via his own Dynamic Tension imprint. Surgeon’s new full-length takes Bardo Thödol – the Tibetan Book of the Dead – as a starting point for a rhythmic journey into those interstitial spaces where body, mind, and soul no longer seem like distinct categories.
While Luminosity Device is part of a modern Western tradition of exploring this topic, which has also included works such as Pierre Henry’s album Le Voyage and Gaspar Nöe’s film Enter the Void, it is something more than just a sonic homage to that legacy. Intended as a deeply personal, bold confrontation of death and loss, it shows how immersive creative practices can build the resilience necessary to understand the death process as just another “intermediate state” in a continuum of eternal transition.
Much as the Tibetan Book of the Dead has been used as a guidebook to navigate the psychedelic experience in post-industrial society, Luminosity Device simulates this same psychedelic attainment of universal consciousness via ego-death – a fact that is easily intuited by paying close attention to the album’s steady accretion of new tonal colors and ephemeral elements over the course of its running time. A clever use of leitmotifs – like the chopped, ectoplasmic choral sounds that first appear on the track The Primary Clear Light – helps to fully ground the listener in the experience, and whatever protective armor the listener might need along the way is supplied by Surgeon’s immense, all-enveloping rhythms.
With just a few additional ingredients, such as modular synth sound-splatter and stealthily permuting sequences, tracks like earth-sinking-into-water and The Etheric Body become frenzied workouts for the whole being, and more groove-oriented / mid-pace stomps (see Eight Wrathful Deities and Courage To Face Up To) become highly involving interplays of pressure and weightlessness. In fact, much of the album thrives on a sense of false dichotomies gradually melting down in the face of some superior insight, an effect that is particularly exciting on The Vibratory Waves of External Unity: with its climbing, spiraling main sequence and sonic scythings aplenty, it has the potential to turn anything from a club visit to a train commute into a collision with the otherworldly.
Luminosity Device is set for release on May 25th and will be available in 2×12″ and digital format. Listen to a cut from the album below, titled The Primary Clear Light, via the Soundcloud player.