Review: Boduf Songs – Stench of Exist

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Listening to Stench of Exist, Boduf Songs‘ upcoming sixth full-length, is a bit like entering a hypnagogic state. As consciousness leaves and one falls asleep, rational cognition attempts to decipher the non-linear associations and imagery that begin to crop up. Stench of Exist is a surreal dream voyage of a record, cycling through a variety of musical and emotional feelings and keeping the listener in suspended animation all the while.

Mat Sweet first founded Boduf Songs in Swaythling, Southampton in 2004, releasing the project’s self-titled debut that year. After a number of mostly-acoustic releases, 2008’s How Shadows Chase the Balance took Sweet’s songwriting into new electronic territory, an approach refined on 2010’s This Alone Above All Else In Spite of Everything and its followup, 2013’s Burnt up on Re-Entry. Stench of Exist, Sweet’s latest opus, takes this style further while still bringing fresh ideas into the mix.

A new sense of expansiveness is present in Sweet’s songcraft, but the album’s strength lies in the focus with which it commands this breadth. A pervasive, singular clarity of vision pervades all of Sweet’s back catalog, but at times perhaps that focus was a hair too narrow. The songs of Stench of Exist are kept clear and concise, but their breviloquence actually works simultaneously to open and embolden a flow of musical color.

What Sweet has managed to create is an album immediately accessible not to the contrary of but rather because of its complexity.

Of some importance is the nature of the album’s complexity. No broken time signatures or misshapen harmonies are to be found here, but from the opening electronic squall of “Jacket Cruiser” it’s evident more is at play than just Sweet’s lyrics and melodies (gorgeous and evocative though both may be). The driving rhythms of tracks like “Thwart by Thwart” are matched in equal force by effected drum machine stutters and modulating synths, as on the moody singles “My Continuing Battle with Material Reality” and “The Rotted Names.”

https://soundcloud.com/flenserrecords/boduf-songs-the-rotted-names

BS02aDisparate strains at times recall everything from the exquisite downer indie of Minnesota’s Low to Neil Young’s controversial 1982 album Trans (which rules, by the way) to Nadja to both the late Jeff Buckley and his father. Possible comparisons abound but the music masterfully manages to never veer into discursive tangents.

The visual topography so deftly conjured by the music begs for and defies in-depth analysis; if permitted, vivid mental images form in the mind of the listener, but attempts to capture and describe them are fruitless. Such elusive treasures are a reward in their fleetingness.

The converse of the aforementioned hypnagogic state is the hypnopompic. As consciousness returns, the emotional, irrational reasoning of dreams clashes with and attempts to make sense of the real world’s aloofness in a hazy transitional state known as sleep inertia. Similarly, the end of Stench of Exist (signaled by the excellent “Sky Pedal’s Plan”) is like leaving a dream world: the listener is left with a vague remembrance of phantasmagorical imagery produced involuntarily but its nature is indiscernibly kaleidoscopic, defying perception.

A record capable of sustaining, let alone creating in the first place, such a variety of feelings and atmospheres is a rare pleasure. Stench of Exist is an album well worth hearing and digesting in full.

NO FLUSH

Stench of Exist comes out February 3rd. Pre-order the LP or CD from The Flenser’s online store and check out Boduf Songs’ seemingly-defunct Facebook page here.

  • Damn this pretty.

  • Gurpation

    FLOWERS ARE NOT METAL. FEELINGS ARE NOT METAL. FUCK THIS ELITIST POSER “BLOG”

  • BLXKKBEXRD

    If C says it’s good, it’s gotta be good

    • You’re my favorite today.

      • BLXKKBEXRD

        Featured comment?

        • Hahahahaha NO.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            Foiled again!!!!!

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            You self indulgent megalomaniacal. . .

    • I enjoyed it as well. I’ll have to listen again when I’m less sleepy or I will fall asleep. I’m actually going to try an experiment with music and sleeping soon. I plan to listen to certain sounds of music while sleeping and see if I notice my dreams change from their usual weirdness for something different. I’m going to start with peaceful music and work my way up to Portal, Deathspell Omega, and Aevangelist.

      • BLXKKBEXRD

        Once upon a dream ago….

        • Among the writhing black abyss I saw shapes of things of an unspeakable nature. They stared into my soul, knowing of things that I knew not. Should they bid me come, I shan’t be able to deny them.

  • Tyree

    I’m staying…

  • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

    These are songs about which I would say: “I would certainly say things about these songs if I could listen to them.”

    • Is that a Toilet problem or a Soundcloud/Finland problem?

      • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

        Probably a problem at the end of my mobile. I hear it and Soundcloud had a rough divorce a year or so ago. They are, apparently, still not speaking.

        • I have same problem soundcloud will play to a certain point then just stop and play at the begining of the track.
          Totally non-Toilet related.

  • This is awesome. Very evocative and colorful.

    • 64 Crayons!

      Then it’s right UP MY ALLEY!

      • YourLogicIsFlushed

        Are you the one with the crayon “sharpener” on the back. Burn in Hell if so.

        • 64 Crayons!

          Understandable. Mine’s not the newer “Perfect-Tip” model, but fuckdoicare?
          http://www.publishersweekly.com/articles/blog/880000288/20080414/crayons.jpg

        • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

          Don’t be mean to him! I like the idea of a crayon sharpener!

          • YourLogicIsFlushed

            Everyone likes the idea of a crayon sharpener, in reality it is a wax annihilator.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            I wish that there was a crayon sharpener that was perfect but for now I like the one that 64 Crayons has.

      • Not exactly crayola texture colored music, but it’s very colorful indeed. You will have a good time mixing those colors 😉

  • The Bestest Tapir

    Sounds prettyy good notta perkele.

  • Corey Tay Tay

    Really cool.
    Definitely something to listen to while traveling.

  • Getting some mad Ulver “Shadows of the Sun” vibes in that second song at parts, beautiful

  • Hubert, Goat ov/of SATAN!!!!!

    This sounds like I’m smearing butter in my face. I dig.

  • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

    Kolminkertainen hurraahuuto Sir Puh deKarhulle, and a hipheybipboppitybop huzzah! I got them working! They are very enjoyable songs.

    • The Bestest Tapir

      No hip hip hoorays for you Herr Karhu.

      • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

        Why must life be so cruel.

        • The Bestest Tapir

          Elämä on.

          • Nordling Writes ov Karhu

            DNA,

  • DDubya.

    Checking out This Alone Above All Else In Spite of Everything now. This review was very sensual.

  • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    1st vid-50%vol
    2nd vid 100%vol
    both at once

    http://youtu.be/Ph4szRCHjBI

    http://youtu.be/2rJGX8uqoL8

    • zzzz. I made a collage for you. refresh for image.

      <3

      GL

      • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        “flush”—in one of those countries in europe–where they dont use toilet paper—
        yer hometown/family/ancestral origin/legendary kingdom

        • BLXKKBEXRD

          Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz — trve warriors still raise arms to fight agenda 21 — puppet masters have no control over the cut puppet — we will win

        • Ouch, no TP? You’re giving it to him raw, uncut. The pure stuff. Sorry GL.

          • It is probably one of those water fountain butt washers. Which, I cannot believe would work. Unless it was on a “power wash” setting. In that case, you would have so much water up your ass you would likely have to shit again. I digress.

            GL

        • The Bestest Tapir

          Sooooo, Estonia?

  • Tyree

  • @christianmolenaar:disqus i love this stuff. thankee-sai!

    • BLXKKBEXRD

      All my buttz are waiting for ur dks2 copy to arrive

      • DoYouThinkHeSaurus

        Well then, I guess you had better hold onto your buttz

      • so should i run around and soul farm for a while before joining the TovH clan?

        • BLXKKBEXRD

          no, that’s why i told you that u would need to add me on skype, or some method we can communicate verbally. Vent maybe if we wanna set up a server. You’ll need to get your white soapstones so we can summon each other, then the only issue is making sure we stay within summoning range.

          • yay, Skype has Linux support.
            can we play drunk?

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            I’m drunk right now.

          • man oh man oh man, i can’t wait to get home and drunk!!!
            yup, i’ve got three PC’s in the house, all running Linux. mos def nerdbro

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            I’m listening to Blind Guardian while my old lady sorts her MTG cards. I’m about to mash potatoes with a beater attached to a 18v drill, and my hands are covered in polyurethane.

            http://new1.fjcdn.com/thumbnails/comments/4691585+_5dd665b38a2bb843f34b927d4c36f87e.png

          • i’m going to add you tonight to PSN, see what games we have in common already…
            ever heard of a board game called Settlers of Catan? i just discovered it on Sunday and <3

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            My Ps3 nerd cred is in jeopardy because it neglects my xbl/old steam accnts. And our board/tabletop collection is vast.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            Settlers Of Catan is awesome! I read an article about how much the Packers love it.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            Their roads < my roads.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            I’ve never played it. Should I buy it?

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            If you have people to play with.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            MTG? I used to play that. I still have some of my collection left.

          • BLXKKBEXRD

            There is a divide between us because i quit at Ice Age and that was long, long ago.

          • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

            I quit last year. I have some cards from 1996 but that’s the oldest cards I have.

        • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

          I’m going to buy DKS2 and join the clan when I have money.

  • JWG

    Is “boduf” meaningful in another language, or is it supposed to be like a thick-accented “bored of” (or “board of”, maybe…)?

  • YourLogicIsFlushed

    For the second time in a week I like something Christian likes? What is happening?

  • Eddie Trunk Jr., Floor Tech

    The album Trans by Neil Young is awesome as stated in the article. I’m a giant fan of his as my dad raised me on Neil Young, Warren Zevon and The Grateful Dead. I don’t know why people hate Trans. It may sound different but it was much better than what Crosby, Stills and Nash were releasing at the time.

  • I literally just pushed a shopping cart with my groceries and beer home. I’m about to carry a 12 pack of beer and 5 bags of groceries home with these bony ass arms in the rain?!?! Fuck that, I’m pushing that cart on home!