By Daniel Th1rte3n (Formally Indrid 13)
One of the aspects of writing for The Cathode Ray that I enjoy is being able to discover and explore new musical endeavors that may not be familiar to our readers, and in turn allow said readers to enjoy these artists for themselves. Such a group of artists is Birmingham England’s Obscure Pleasures, whom indulge the listener in dark panoramas of electronic sensuality.
Obscure Pleasures are on the verge of releasing their new single Private Peep Show, and it is a fascinating microcosm of libertine sexuality set to an irresistible beat evocative of the decadent 1980’s (as well as the 1780s).
The track begins with a short interlude of ambient sound, that evokes a sense of entering a new world, a world a bit darker than that which we may be accustomed. As the song proper starts, it takes on a tone that brings to mind not only Bauhaus, but also the soundtrack work of John Carpenter, while still remaining fiercely unique.
The vocals, both warm and raw, offer a dichotomy (especially in contrast to the electronic soundscape) that perfectly suits the songs overall theme: that of pleasure and pain being inexorably linked. The Marquis de Sade once remarked; “It is always by way of pain one arrives at pleasure”, and this track could stand as testament to that aesthetic. The lyrics make beautiful poetry out of a subject that to some may not be suitable to their palette, and yet in turn the listener is compelled to listen regardless of where you derive your source of pleasure from.
As the piece progresses, it once again reinforces its dual nature, as the electronic gives way to strings (which in turn elicit a sense of 1780’s libertine leanings, mixed firmly with 1980’s glamour and debauchery).
As the track comes to end we are offered a somber piano litany as the lyric “All I want is you to suffer, all you need from me is pain” echoes with both malice and tenderness. And therein we find the challenge to ourselves. Where do these lines blur within us, and how do we chose to express it?
To learn more of Obscure Pleasures, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/obscurepleasures
Private Peep Show will be available for digital download on 1/30/2012
If you live in the London or Manchester area, catch Obscure Pleasures on tour with William Control on February 6th and 7th!