Ecce homo! Behold the man! Having just read Tom Kristensen’s novel Hærværk a few weeks ago, it’s a phrase that’s been on my mind recently. A sarcastic and sardonic one nowadays, when our shortcomings, vices, and darknesses are at the forefront of our lives; behold us in all our imperfections and evils. Ipek Gorgun’s new record, also titled Ecce Homo, is said to explore “the lighter and darker shades of the human psyche, behaviour and existence, and humanity’s ability to create beauty and destruction.” The latter pair dominates Gorgun’s musical approach in a variety of permutations: beauty through the destruction of the crushed and gutted sounds that form “Tserin Dopchut,” destruction of the beauty that the musical samples of “Neroli” might once have held. Gorgun’s compositions follow our disastrous path as a species; nature is bulldozed into screeching mechanical constructions, those constructions break apart and fold on themselves, until reaching a climax in “To Cross Great Rivers,” described as the embodiment of humanity’s eternal greed and imperialism. Without context, the sonic palette of Ecce Homo is painful, unsettling, immersive; when paired with these unfortunate truths, it becomes excruciating, terrifying, way too close for comfort.
“Let me give you a revelation: they are in control.”