ex.sses – M.A.D.
Released February 27 2021 via Cherche Encore
Cherche Encore presents ‘RELIC’, a debut EP by ex.sses.
ex.sses has been running the show Iterations on Balamii radio as well as earwax, a platform for Womxn identifying artists who work in Sound and Performance based practices.
RELIC is made of 6 dark and decisely club-oriented tracks, accompanied by a short story from writer Lottie Hughes. The album is dominated by deep bass but leaves enough headspace for intricate percussion. Spoken-work – the other running theme of the release – hints towards a personal and introspective project, the result of ex.sses thinking on their relationship to the body, intimacy and queer identity.
Short story written by Lottie Hughes:
“Wind grates at her skin as she walks over scorched ground. Something under her feet resists the imprint of her weight, surprising her sense of balance. She bends down to examine it, digging her fingers into the earth to pick the object out of its crater.
The object’s weight is in alignment with the pull of gravity, a relic of frozen air. It contains properties that belong to both the artificial and the natural. From futures and pasts, it ordains her as the breathing pinnacle of the present.
The object’s smooth surface is interrupted by a dark circle, impenetrable by any shouts of light. She looks into it, the circle quivers and envelops her gaze.
Vision gone, her boundaries dissolve then vanish as mist does in the violence of the sun. Her body becomes amorphous, her muscles untwist themselves like roots from a tree being pulled from their tips.
As the relic starts to vibrate in her hands, the shape of her being sharpens and shivers in response. Pools of light-sweat glisten on the terrain of her back.
[A relic; something that is left behind. But this strange thing insists on a connected multiplicity, reaching forwards and backwards, refusing to be contained in any succinct temporality or affect. Like a spurned lover, it won’t be alone. It is old and new, terrifying and joyous.]
The silence of the landscape around her is cut open. The object begins to wheeze, releasing oiled melodies striking the space both inside and outside of the body that holds it. The relic does not choose between the boundaries of the epidermis. It emits waves, shaped like soft limbs that dance over the boundaries that contain herself.
In the peripheries of her body, emotion previously cast into the unknown, cascades and climaxes within unoccupied space. The space she now inhabits consists of electric sensitivity and stuttering temporality. She cannot recall where she was walking to. Instead, she stays there, at the mercy of the object. She surrenders to it, is intimate with it as she is unable to leave it. She doesn’t know how long she has been here for.
She speaks and her words start to drip out of the relic and fall thickly onto her feet. Re-embodied, she is transmuted into the unknown new.”