The Caretaker - Everywhere At The End Of Time - Stage 3
(History Always Favours The Winners)
Leyland Kirby, aka The Caretaker, has graced us again with Stage 3 of his 6-stage series Everywhere At The End of Time. If you’re not familiar with Kirby or his Caretaker project, you need to read this first.
Ok, now that you’re up to speed you should be fully sterilized and ready to absorb Stage 3. Remember that this series is a first person account of the onset of dementia with each stage a further decline into the vast blackness of forgotten memories and dreams. The Caretaker is writing AND witnessing his own demise. With the release of Stage 3, Kirby has said that The Caretaker is heading down the point of no return as confusion and fogginess roll in. We get to hear The Caretaker recall themes and music of his past (with Kirby utilizing some of the same fragments of his masterful An Empty Bliss Beyond This World) though the cheeriness and buoyant ballroom themes are now beginning to be obscured by a muddled scourge of uncertainty underneath. With Stage 3, we can still recognize the beauty of the music from The Caretaker’s past however that same beauty and melody is beginning to break. The tape starting to fragment and wilt just as Basinski unfolded for us with his revolutionary Disintegration Loops.
In many ways Stages 1 and 2 (while fantastic and beautiful), are and were a setup and precursor to what we are now witnessing with his mental breakdown commencing in Stage 3. There are glimpses of light and still vibrant memory, (“Sublime Beyond Loss” and “Long Term Dusk Glimpses”), but those are quickly vanquished with the terrifying and haunting “Bewildered In Other Eyes” and “Drifting Time Misplace.”
The sequencing of Stage 3 is perfectly crafted. It ebbs and flows as clouds part for sunnier and pristine pieces of The Caretaker’s memory before the sky turns grey with the clarity and joy being sucked out of the atmosphere. Kirby is using quick edits even more than before to nicely mimic the experience of The Caretaker’s memories and dreams shifting and morphing creating a disorienting experience. He elicits further confusion as certain aspects of the sound field seem muddied or dust-ridden. Within the same piece, certain melodies shine through while other aspects actually sound cloudy. I literally checked my stylus twice to be sure it wasn’t riddled with dust.
With Everywhere At The End Of Time - Stage 3, The Caretaker has perhaps presented us with his most arresting listen yet. There is no turning back now. Only darkness. And with that in mind, I am both enthralled and frightened to witness what comes next in Stage 4. (Dom)
Check out a track here.