Efferat are Philadelphia based experimental, electronic, dark ambient project who have released a new album, which has probably been one of my hardest listens yet. Efferat released, Benzaiten on November 3rd and it was just as hard to listen to, as it was to look at the album-art (so many colours, my fucking eyes!) But, as you all know, I try to review everything that gets sent to me, because I’m just a nice guy that loves music.
Let’s start, as you should, at the beginning of the album, with the title track, Benzaiten. The slow build-up of these dusty, lo-fi synths is interesting and textured rather nicely; it feels like there should be an intro to some horror movie playing. As the track goes on, there are strange sounds that bare some resemblance to actual instruments, like the sliding up of guitar strings and some cleaner (slightly) synths. This track is likely the hardest track to listen to, as the other two have some resemblances to music that is easier to follow, it’s also the longest track, clocking in at practically eleven minutes!
The other two tracks share a closer semblance to structure, where the Benzaiten just felt like a collage of sound and madness. That’s not to say that Aka Manto and Yukonna are down to earth examples of sanity. In fact, Yukonna seems to be the flag bearer for painfully elaborate and long winded breakdowns, as the track plods along with a brief tinkering of some metallic noise, until it eventually erupts into a vicious onslaught of metal noise/feedback (?). Despite all this incredibly difficult to listen to noise, there are some very well-done sections that feel distinguishable against other noise music – the instrumentation works very well. I think the most notable example is the slides and guitar plucking’s of Aka Manto.
Despite some clever use of sound, noise and structuring on this album, I do still constantly struggle with how lo-fi this record is. This low-quality does add to the challenge of trying to piece together what everything on this album is, but it honestly seems like such an uphill struggle for a limited pay-off. I think at the end of the day, this album is all about interpretation and I interpreted it to give me a headache at most parts. Although I do like the fading off the last track Yukonna.
Efferat and their album Benzaiten are a drugged fuelled romp into challenging sounds and listens that will leave you clutching at your ears, throwing your headphones aside, getting a drink of hooch, grabbing your headphones again and then trying again. I honestly think the best way to describe their music is with the email they sent me:
Our band is basically a Dark Sounding ambient with black metal and Dark Sounding Post rock talking about ancient Japanese folklore to LSD trips to witch craft.