Following his hallucinogenic dancefloor EPs, Dust and Green Man, for R&S, Alex Menzies returns with a new album under his Alex Smoke moniker, entitled Love Over Will. As with his 2011 release under the Wraetlic guise, Love Over Will sees Menzies create a palette of otherworldly strings, distortion, clicks and synths which act as a bed for his voice.
"The human voice is the ultimate transducer of emotion," he explains. "I feel it, I sing it, the listener hears it, the listener feels it. Even the slightest vocal can carry a heavy emotional current. Adding words is creating another layer of meaning again, sometimes altering, sometimes reinforcing the intrinsic feeling of the music."
The title, Love Over Will, is a play on "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. Love is the law, love under will" — central tenet of Thelema, created by famed occultist and ceremonial magician, Aleister Crowley. The central thread of the album is meant to be "a statement on the times we are living in, but with an optimism relating to ways forward that are possible.” Menzies' work has also been informed by his ongoing installation work with artist Florence To, primarily on the links between sound and spirituality.
Alex has written a quote about the artwork, as above:
"Finlay McKay is an old friend and a high-end photographer. I gave him the album, the title and some background and gave him free rein to come up with the image. The album title relates to Thelema, Crowley's religion for the new age, and Fin's artwork has clear links to magical thinking. The use of nudity also has something to say of our attitudes towards it. Why should nudity and sexuality be shameful, whilst someone being graphically murdered is considered ok? The artwork is a response to the album but also chimes perfectly with the age we live in.”
1. Fair is Foul
2. Dire Need
4. Dust (LP Edit)
6. All My Atoms
7. Yearning Mississippi
8. Love Over Will
11. Astar Mara
12.Star at the Summit
Ahead of the albums January 22 release date, "Dire Need" can be streamed in full below.