words by chloe bonfield
I listened to Lemurian Dawn before I read anything about Memnon Sa, the work of Misha Hering.
Red rocks, a dry place, devoid of recognizable life but very much alive. It is the beach in the children’s programme Elidor, with the masked riders endlessly chasing through a grey monochrome world. Medieval-ish organ melodies start to weave through and tell a human story, and you really feel like you need it. The sci-fi universe of this album is inhumane, cold and fearful. The human stories seems to flit in and out through the use of warmer synth sounds and recorded percussion.
This human story culminates for me in “Healing Chamber”, where you are taken into the space of your spiritual guide, the drums. It feels very welcoming at two thirds of the way through the album. Although you do rather miss that cold and unnerving world of squelchy synth and drawling throat singing. Keep pushing through though, the monolith is just waiting beyond the next mountain peak.
There are spots in this album that feel like something else, like somewhere you have already been. The references are very fleeting and hard to pin down, which gives the feeling of never quite getting your bearings. This is a good thing. Goblin, Pharaoh Sanders, Alexandro Jodorowsky, psyche folk, even the Incredible String Band, present cosmic vibes with precision.
This seems to fit when I read that Misha’s studio that he engineers at is called ‘Holy Mountain’, and also his love of a certain trope of sci-fi. Mostly the not very well liked Prometheus. But I totally get that. And I get the love of that type of glossy, conspiracy theory type of sci-fi.
For me though this has got more warmth than that. It has a quest vibe, a fantasy from Earthsea, that got lost inside an angular and geometric alien world. Looking forward to what the next fiction will be, it has that potential of holding up the mirror of fiction to the listener, helping them to look within! Or just trip out!
Lemunian Dawn is out on September 29, via Aurora Borealis Records
Pre-order it here