Not so long ago we wrote here that while many musical extremists add new layers of brick and mortar to old walls surrounding well-established genre structures, the anonymous Parisian duo Non Serviam take a wrecking ball to genre walls. Their music is about catharsis and confrontation, and to extend the alliteration, it can be confounding — because it goes where the creators’ passions and wild inmventiveness take it, outward into the world from a burning inner core of rage.
You would conclude that the music on their new album Death Ataraxia is confrontational even if you didn’t know what inspires it. It has the effect of getting in the face of listeners and shoving them out of comfort zones and off-balance, teetering but fueled. But what inspires the music is also confrontational, an anarchist and antifascist ethos that condemns the abuses of capitalism and hate-mongering directed against the least powerful among us.
Yet it would go to far to brand the music, or what inspires it, as nihilistic, even if sometimes it sounds ruinous or hopeless. In the midst of superheated resistance there seem to be goals beyond not surrendering or becoming complacent, beyond furiously swinging the wrecking ball at what confines our bodies and minds. Goals like embracing those who need support when we can, (furiously) seizing the opportunities for rapture when they present themselves (no matter how fleeting), or just letting your head spin away from the ugliness of the real into the very un-real.
Another way to put it is that in listening to Death Ataraxia you’ll find times when you might want to sway and bounce, or to let your mind wander in intriguing but dangerous dreamscapes, but plenty of other times that might make you want to put your head back and howl, or hurl yourself like a missile into violent collisions, or feel your brain spin (dazzled) through a kaleidoscopic sonic collage where nightmares thrive.