Ghosts of Breslau – Drowned City (BDTA)


If Breslau is haunted, it must be by history. The German name for Wrocław, the city has shifted between six kingdoms and nation states since its incorporation in the Middle Ages. It has been devastated by Swedes and Saxons during the Thirty Years´ War (losing almost half its population to the ensuing plague), occupied by Napoleon´s army, surrounded by Nazi concentration camps (its 10,000 Jews wiped out), and pounded into dust during the Soviet siege in the last days of the Second World War.

However, Ghosts of Breslau has chosen mystery over history, an imaginary catastrophe that came to him in a dream, of a Drowned City after the inundation has subsided. He pans over this dark panorama with richly crafted, looped strings – long and sorrowful, eddied and ebonized in turns – against muddied drone, creating a strangely luminous intensity of greyscale.

The tale only takes fifteen minutes to tell, but they are fifteen minutes pregnant with suggestion, so Docetism and Gaap Kvlt and Hands Like Clouds, another manifestation of Ghosts of Breslau, are each given plenty of space to remix one of the three tracks in order of appearance. “Sunken Lights” is propulsive and bird´s-eyed, “Vast, Loathsome Shapes” a circumspectly arranged skeletal chamber ensemble playing beneath crumbling arches, while “Strange Places” is radically databent into fluttering glitch.

Stephen Fruitman


About Author

Born and raised in Toronto, Stephen Fruitman has been living in northern Sweden lo these past thirty years. Writing and lecturing about art and culture as an historian of ideas since the early nineties, his articles have appeared in an number of international publications. He is also a contributing editor at Igloo Magazine.

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