Relay For Death are the twin sisters Rachal and Roxann Spikula.
Spikula & Spikula’s album “Natural Incapacity” transcribes the harsh realities of urban blight that complicate and threaten their own survival. It was in the context of two month medical study that the Spikulas composed their debut album in 2009, amplifying the emptiness of hospital rooms into a ghastly pall worthy of the classic works by Maurizio Bianchi.
Natural Incapacity was composed as a seamless, glacial accretion of locomotive grind, sub-harmonic environmental rumble, nocturnal street sweeping, and the quavering hum of toxic chemicals perpetually leached into the water table.
Clocking in at well over three hours, by design Natural Incapacity’s oil-stained drone is completely relentless. This album implies neither beginning nor end to the cycle of contamination. Relay For Death’s industrial meditation recognizes abjection, horror, and defeat as the prevalent conditions to existence. Even as a declared rejection to those conditions, Natural Incapacity is engulfed in a bleak nihilism constantly churning back upon itself.
When I listen to “Natural Incapacity” I had to submit – I had to submit to the length of the work and I had to submit, feebly, to the overwhelming power of industrial noise that came from my speakers. When you listen to “Natural Incapacity” you will appreciate the calm after the industrial storm.
With the theme of pollution, this album is naturally justified – this is not an easy listen; it really takes it out of you. Urban decay, oil pumps & abandoned factories are all in this album. The self referencing nihilism is tangible but always just beyond the next field recording.
I believe the works on these compact discs is of note – there is an unrelenting bullying of the senses so that the listener is … naturally incapacitated.
This grizzled affair was intended to be a seamless document, however, “Natural Incapacity” is split over two CD’s and features a download of the composition in unedited form. The physical edition features hand-rusted metal covers by Jim Haynes and is strictly limited to 150 copies. A collectors piece if ever there was one.
Available from 2nd December 2016 – this album is released by The Helen Scarsdale Agency and can be purchased here.