This isn’t one of those pretentious essays where the writer gets all psychological and academic and tries to persuade you how to think. This is simply an introduction to Berlin electronic duo, Non-Human Persons who actually do the persuading themselves.
Their video for “Wild Strawberries” plays on the human fascination in the strange. Like it or not, intrigue overrides logic and we are compelled to watch and sample the things we perhaps think we shouldn’t. This video gives us the kicks we didn’t know we needed with a sinister procession of imagery drenched in blood-red and we realise that the wild strawberries here are more ‘sick’ rather than sickly sweet. Lyrics like ‘Talking with the dead in the bathroom mirror / living it up’ are thrown at us with repetitious, flickering images bordering on the paranormal. The music is equally subliminal with subtle electronica bleepings under cool, sensuous European vocals. It makes you speculate what an album by The Knife might have sounded like released between Silent Shout and the more experimental Shaking the Habitual.
An 8 minute plus version of this song is the centrepiece of the No Fear album released in May and typifies the mood of the other songs. The twisted fairy tale image continues with “Devil and Cinderella”, a minimal, scratching trance throb of a song…aural hedonism to get under your skin. Opener “Gloria” has the sound of both the past and the future and gives an insight into what some of the supposed futuristic sounds of 1978 could have achieved with a dark sexuality. It has an almost Eastern-style chant over European beats which creates an other-worldly mystical fusion.
A non-human person suggests one without emotion, but this music transcends the normal or the common and takes us beyond the expected to a new atmosphere. No Fear is a stark but euphoric set of songs which will enchant, entrance and unsettle. This is music to play with the lights off.