Between Aronofsky and Mono: "Pictorial" by Killbody Tuning


Band: Killbody Tuning
Title: Pictorial
Year: 2018
Country: Switzerland
Label: Hummus Records
Contacts: Facebook  Bandcamp  Instagram  Spotify

  1. My Mother Told Me Not To Stare Into The Sun
  2. When I Was 6 I Did
  3. I Was Terrified
  4. You Are Not Pure. You Cannot See God Unless You Are Pure
  5. No… I Saw Everything
  6. Our Fingerprints
  7. Our DNA
  8. Our Milky Way

By now, you sure know that instrumental post-rock, in all of its many forms, is more than welcome here. This time we will talk about a project hailing from the French-speaking part of Switzerland, founded in 2005 but landing on Aristocrazia Webzine for its first time: Killbody Tuning. In the meantime, the band has become one of the main acts for the local label Hummus Records, which also debuts on our pages with this record, Pictorial.

Let’s start by saying that the album features very refined visuals (by Sophie Gagnebin from Out of Gas Serigraphy) and a cover made of recycled paper. As we scroll the titles, we immediately notice that Pictorial is structured as a story, the memory of a moment of awareness, to when the (non) narrating voice understood the apparently frightening but inevitable connection between ourselves and the whole universe. The “I” of the first half doesn’t dare to stare into the Sun because of prohibitions coming from family, society and religion; and when the child’s mind observes and tries to know the universe it is initially utterly scared, afraid of not being pure enough and of not being able to comprehend. And yet, here comes the enlightenment, the non-religious divinity of the universe that connects everything, the “I” becomes “We”. Our fingerprints, our DNA, our Milky Way, are all parts of an indissoluble network, here flowing in the shape of atmospheric post-rock. If you have paid attention and perhaps already know something about Killbody Tuning‘s background, it’s likely that you have spotted the quotes from the movie Pi by Darren Aronofsky. In fact, the concept of this record came from a memorable live session at the 2300 Plan 9 Festival in 2017, when the four musicians played an entire live soundtrack for the movie, including some of the songs and passages that would then be included in Pictorial.

The album was recorded in a single session at Studio Mécanique, the eight songs flow one into the other and have to be taken as movements of one internal journey (which soon becomes external, if the distinction still makes any sense in this context). The main musical inspiration for Killbody Tuning came, in this case, from Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Mono, making their somewhat visual approach to music the foundation on which the band installed the guitars played by Claudio Germanà and Florent Jeanneret.

Pictorial is a very ambitious record, it requires attention and attains more flavor if enjoyed while watching Aronofsky’s movie. However, the Swiss band created something that can be appreciad also outside of this visual framework, a solid post-rock album that closed off quite a rich year for this specific genre, as we have also seen here on Aristocrazia.