DEMENTIA AND HOPE TRAILS
PURE, MAGICAL LOVE
Every emotion that we feel exists on a spectrum. We have a safe/unsafe spectrum, a happy/sad spectrum, a calm/anxious spectrum, a joy/sorrow spectrum. The emotional experience of an individual at any given time is a consequence of that individual’s movement along these emotional spectra, and may be entirely unique and unreproducible. Endless suffering comes when we attempt to limit our experience to isolated fragments of these spectra, or to do away with some of them altogether.
Thus we understand that, in choosing to expose ourselves to the peaks of ecstacy, we also invite sorrow and despair. The happier we are capable of being, the more vulnerable we are to debilitating sadness. And when something wonderful happens, the door is open for something equally terrible in the future.
This thought keeps cropping up as I listen to “Pure, Magical Love,” the crown jewel thus far of Justin Marc Lloyd’s series of ambitious guitar drone releases under the name Dementia and Hope Trails (see also: Sensible Nectar, Pregnant Spore, and Lloyd’s immense, magnificent Rainbow Bridge label).
Emotions come in waves, and in these long, emotionally complex pieces, we experience wave after wave on a variety of spectra. This music is informed by a deep understanding of how these experiences work. As a soaring ecstacy unfurls, rolling us up inside it, we can expect to be dropped into a chasm of towering loneliness, or harrowed by despair, or crippled by anxiety, only to surge forward moments later into a golden, sublime completion that feels like it could last forever. The shifts are so natural, so organically timed, that one has to wonder if this music is simply a reflection of the complex internal states of the artist at each moment of the music’s creation.
If it wasn’t for the times of cold bleakness, we could never know the warmth. What makes this music remarkable is how little it leaves out. A c94 that never fails to capture attention. Sold out at the source, but there is still one on discogs.