Despite a moderate period of extended silence, it appears UK/Serbian solo entity and firm Black Metal Daily favourite MRTVI has in fact been rather busy. Not only does the project have a long-awaited new album on the way via Transcending Obscurity Records (listen to the mind-bending first single from Omniscient Hallucinatory Delusion HERE), but whilst the release of that record has been unfortunately yet inevitably delayed due to the worldwide plague and seeming partial collapse of civilization in general, a pair of typically warped compositions have mysteriously materialized.
And guess what? Both of them are cover versions. Last week, No Clean Singing premiered the first: ‘Machine Gun’, an astonishing interpretation of the Portishead track of the same name. It rules and you should definitely check it out HERE (and even buy a shirt HERE!), but today we are honoured and more than slightly disturbed to present you with the second: ‘This Is Not Living’, an homage to The Beatles‘ ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’. Yes, you read that correctly.
If you know the original fab-four version you’ll soon discover that what was once a light, spacey and tripped-out jam has become something… unsettling. The tempo has been slowed just enough to become a queasy, lysergic groove that lumbers along like a drugged-out leper, limbs falling off as he/she lurches back and forth in some kind of blissed-out psychedelic nightmare trance, eyes rolled back in their head. The original lyrics have been completely abandoned save for the one phrase that repeats ad nauseam, in crazed layered screeches and disembodied moans like a fixated mental patient: THIS IS NOT LIVING. THIS IS NOT LIVING. THIS IS NOT LIVING.
It’s genuinely unnerving to listen to but we’d expect nothing less from renegade master Damjan, the man who tore black metal/music in general apart and reassembled it on the sonic event horizon Negative Atonal Dissonance back in 2017. MRTVI is one of the most creative projects seething in the underground and truly does not give a fuck about any accepted or expected norms, and deserves your full support – so listen to what might be the most unexpected cover you’ll hear all year above, and I’ll leave you with some words from the man himself:
“The second of the two covers that I’m releasing isn’t so much a straight cover as an homage. The original idea was to record some short musical quotes of various artists to use as interludes on a MRTVI album; however the way the rest of the material developed I realised that it wouldn’t fit, so this recording too has been sitting on my hard-drive for about a year now.
Talking with a friend I realised that a large part of my musical vision for MRTVI was set in place when I was very young; my mother had a Beatles cassette tape, Revolver and Sgt Peppers. It only recently dawned on me that this was the psychedelic, lo-fi sound I was trying to create with MRTVI.
The production for this cover was done very differently to my other projects. The drums are recorded with just 2 mics, both outside of the drum room. One is facing into the ceiling of a stairwell, and another is in the corridor outside facing into another room. The bass and the drums are the backbone, the guitar layers are there mainly as effects and atmosphere. I didn’t really want to cover the lyrics, hence the ‘homage’ rather than an outright cover… I felt a little tweak to the main hook of the song would fit in better with the overall existential theme of MRTVI. In some ways, this was a MRTVI song waiting to happen…
Both of this one and the previous cover will be released for streaming and free downloads via my label – Life As A Dream Records, on the YouTube channel and Bandcamp page. To find more of my music here are some links. Enjoy!”
This Is Not Living is available now via Life As A Dream Records.
Purchase This Is Not Living digitally from the Life As A Dream Bandcamp HERE.
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