In February, Dystopia finally release their long awaited second studio album, “Rough Art of the Spiritual”, eighteen years after their 2000 debut, “The Wisdom of Insecurity”.
Featuring once again the exquisite poetry of Liz Maw set to music, the new album was fifteen years in the making with recording having begun in Auckland, New Zealand in 2002 and completed in Berlin in 2017.
While the first album was a collaboration between Maw, Monkey Records founder Nigel Braddock on keyboards and Shinya Asakura on sitar and production, the new album is based around the trio of Maw, Braddock and guitarist Gerhard Lottermoser with a dozen other musicians featuring as guests.
As on Dystopia’s debut, Liz Maw’s poems take centre stage and her astute observations on life, death and the human condition are quietly compelling. Although her voice sometimes barely raises above a whisper, the listener is consistently drawn in by the rich imagery and hypnotic soundscapes which rise and fall and swirl around her.
The music ranges freely in style from electronica to ambient to neoclassical to jazz to psychedelic rock and sometimes swells from a murmur to an apocalyptic crescendo.