Slauson Malone – Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak) 8.6

Genre: Neo Soul / Abstract Hip Hop
Rating: 8.6

Track List:
1. Simile #7 (see page 127 and Ttrabul 2)(feat. Jai) 00:55
2. Smile #6 (see page 198 and 158) 04:00
3. Smile #5 (see page 103 and 107) 03:08
4. 360 Degree Pole Shift Hypothesis (see page 13) 00:20
5. My feet’s tired (see page 108) 02:50
6. I’m tired (see page 28 and 200) 01:31
7. THE MASSAGE 4: Museum (see page 140, 32, 73, and 8) 01:53
8. THE MESSAGE 3: Blood (see page 39, 179, and Bye) 04:02
9. The Wake Pt. 3 & 2 (see page 87, 58, and 48) 05:34

My first thought was that Vergangenheitsbewältigung was the nonsense result of slamming your fingers into the keyboard and that the page numbers in the song titles was some sort of choose your own adventure type thing. Remember those books? Anyway, I was way off base.

Vergangenheitsbewältigung is a German term that means ‘working through the past’. It is usually used when referring to public discourse about embarrassment and remorse for the Holocaust. In Slauson’s case, I wonder if it simply refers to working through the past. This album sounds deeply personal and it would surprise me if it was about German history. That being said, Slauson’s sound is difficult to unpack and hidden meaning’s about anything are possible.

Musically, Vergangenheitsbewältigung is like a moving scrapbook of abstract sounds, songs and pieces of music that seem, at first listen, a little random. The more time spent with the album, the more all of these sounds seem to fit in place exactly as they should or exactly as they were meant to be fit together. This is not dissimilar to the way that random memories can just pop into our heads, maybe while standing in the shower or driving at night. While seemingly random, memories are all part or a singular narrative, they are the narrative of you. And regardless of the joy or the pain that they are associated with they are exactly as they should be and they are available to be worked through. Hence, Vergangenheitsbewältigung. In this sense, it more of a journal than scrapbook.

A sonic journal of a master producer. Mixing acoustic guitar, hop hop, jazz, soul and other influences into a little trip for the ears; a voyage for the head.

Apparently, Slauson Malone has written a book called Crater Speak. I can hardly find any information about it online. It seems the page numbers on the song titles refer to the page number in his book.

In Slauson’s own words:

My fear, my loneliness, my happiness. My blackness, my queerness, my objectness. I am haunted by likenesses. I’m haunted by my self. _____ like a _____. Smile, Simile. Message, Massage. Vergangenheitsbewältigung.
(Crater Speak) is the title of a catalog I published with Midway Contemporary. It is an unreliable guide of materials that influence my artistic and musical practice, loosely defined into associative chapters, outlining a perimeter. That perimeter being the rim of a ‘crater’. An absence present. Here by unimaginable heat, scale, speed, and violence. Collision to disintegration to (see The Thing 1982).

Like his music, there is something to be deciphered here.

Favourite tracks: ‘Smile #6’, ‘The Wake Pt. 3 & 2’ & ‘THE MESSAGE 3: Blood’

Support and sample here.


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