Donor Lens - Desire Path
May 6, 2022
A breathy pad cautiously steps forward as percussive hits stumble at the beginning of Spirit Receiver, the 15th and final track of Donor Lens’ new release Midnight Store. The sensation of drunkenness is immediately audible as snare and kick writhe over each other in a slow, chaotic crawl. The UK-based duo say that they wanted to replicate that atmosphere that exists just before a store closes. It certainly feels this way, as the listener puts one foot warily after the other down artificially lit aisles that are only several minutes from being bathed in complete darkness.
A thick synth motif begins, instantly instilling a dramatic 80s balladry to the track. The generic sounds of a store fade in; the two-toned alert signalling a new customer slinking in just before the locking of the doors. A solemn lead melody pirouettes through the narrow walkways of the store, warbling slightly in the sick, flickering light of the luminescent poles above the listener’s head.
It is at this point that DATAGIRL lends a hand. Her voice breaching the thick instrumentation that has been built up. The vocals float up, the multi-layered nature of the voice conveying an artificiality. The voice of this store isn’t just one lone person, but the residual energy left by many walking in and out of its door. DATAGIRL’s feature expertly illustrates this as the words ‘Receive my soul’ reach out to us through the vibrant packaging and bright linoleum that stretch out ahead. Is the three word hook a cry for help from the aura that is trapped in the store, coupled with a reiteration of the pull of consumerist satisfaction? Receive my soul, purchase me and all my essence, save me from purgatory.
A gloomy flute-like sound droops over a short bridge in the middle of the song, before we launch back into the arms of the full instrumentation and DATAGIRL’s voice. A glitching, reversed sound begins to career around the soundscape. The synth melodies fall away, the vocals echoing out one last time. The store becomes awash with swells of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Dives et Lazarus.
In this, the closer to the album, we witness the ritualistic death of the store. The last few moping bodies are guided through the door into the darkness. The lights are extinguished, and the aisles in all their pristine pageantry are cloaked in darkness, only to be galvanised one again, with the rising of the sun.
The entirety of Midnight Store will be available tomorrow here: https://mypetflamingo.bandcamp.com/