CASSETTE TAPE - Album
“Fathersong” is Rick Bull’s eighth album release under his Deepchild moniker, arriving 10 years after the former Berliner’s Neukölln Burning album (Thoughtless Music). Exploring a shimmering post-dub vista, rich in granular textures, Fathersong draws influence and inspiration from contemporaries like Fennesz, Tim Hecker, Burial and Vladislav Delay. Unshackled from the percussive undertow of previous albums, the album’s palette nonetheless displays the familiar, sensual pulse of Bull’s musical aesthetic.
“For the time is nigh, when passion get high, when the beat just lash, when the wall just smash, and the beat just shift and the culture alter. When oppression scatter.” - Linton Kwesi Johnson, “Bass Culture”
A reflection on and through ambiguous loss, Fathersong is set against the backdrop of the closing chapter of the pre-pandemic club experience, specifically as a requiem and homage to Bull’s late father, a doctor, who died in an overstretched aged-care system as the virus took hold.
Where Neukölln Burning spoke to a sense of somatic urgency in dark club back rooms, Fathersong speaks to introspection, liminality, awe and perhaps even the potential for transformation through and beyond complex grief.
In Bull’s own words:
“I wanted to write a work to honour the life of my father, whose death from dementia-related complications was heartbreaking to witness - behind a security door, in the midst of a pandemic he couldn’t begin to fathom.
This work is a creative meditation on the moments spanning his final exhalation and on the new, mysterious relationship I’m discovering with him, one which is imbued with unexpected wonder and surprise. Dad, transfigured yet somehow less of an enigma than before, drops poignant lessons in unguarded moments - each one a disarming reminder of the inherent playfulness and joy within and without.
This album is also a small offering to family, friends and strangers who’ve trod the waters of complex grief in the last few years, particularly those who’ve served tirelessly amidst torrents of political indifference, as my father did. Might it offer a balm of solidarity.
To witness and hear each other’s grief is to begin to find wholeness and healing, in order to remember we are all fragile passengers on a deeply miraculous voyage.”
Special thanks to Wendy Millyard, Luke Warren, Tom Philipson, Dan Cole, Brock Van Wey, Lawrence English and William Basinski for their support, ears and encouragement of this project.