It’s the ultimate neo-futuristic concept album, complete with invented language for the lyrics (“Mondoneoh”) and a protagonist known as Dragon Rider. But the music is exquisitely composed 21st-century cinematic electronics. Anna Jordan’s The Allegorist has produced a fanciful opus for total immersion.
Ready to report for duty onboard The Viking Thunder? (That’s the ship.) First, a dazzling video we get to premiere here, with motion provided by video artist Arsen Arzumanyan:
Hybrid Dimension II, out in May, is a long-simmering follow-up to the epic poem Hybrid Dimension I, on the also-underrated Detroit Underground.
There’s a method behind this fantastical world. Hungarian-born producer Anna Jordan in Berlin. Even in made-up language she’s singing in is part of a vision of a world without nations, hierarchies, or genders — guided, the artists says, by “intuitive truth.”
We were investigating Jewish mysticism through the work of Lara Rix-Martin / Meemo Comma at the end of last month. That work, while futuristic, drew heavily on history and directly incorporated past elements. Anna’s work is almost like a corresponding synthetic creation for a new century, looking forward with materials concocted from scratch. Even the explanation of the language has behind it a dream of a different sort of future, for a tribe that’s created anew out of the future rather than the past. And it encodes its own alternative ideology:
The Allegorist sings in the fictional and majestic Mondoneoh language, to connect all nations. The name is broken up into three parts. The first is ‘MONDO’, which is a collection of dialogues between a pupil and a Zen Buddhist teacher, designed to obtain an intuitive truth. The purpose of ‘NEO’ is to update values for the 21st Century, which transcends the hierarchical, gender-biased, outdated aspects of traditions to one community of equality, diversity and inclusion. The letter ‘H’ at the end symbolises the bridge between past and future, us and them, and the balance of darkness and light, yin and yang, the micro and macro, nothing and everything.
And there’s the music – endlessly cinematic, cool and reserved but with a confident forward drive, pulsing like a cybernetic city. It’s a different synthesis than the cyberpunk narrative we’ve seen of late – instead of faux Japanese dystopia, you get a utopian fusion of paganism and machine beats, but where the two naturally blur together. The full album drops at the start of May – which is good, because putting it in words might make you think of pastiche and some 1990s musical disaster, but it’s not. It’s more Tron meets goddess, easy-going technopaganism native in the Europe of decades to come, past our current mess of muddled governance and rubber-stamped faxes, into something sleek, shiny, but caring.
The full album is now available on pre-order:
(Oh yeah, and this is truly a DIY effort. Dig in and you’ll generally see Anna’s name in the credits for everything. There’s no big budget or support hiding here, just force of imagination.)
Or to put it another way, having known Anna for a few years, I believe that this music soundtracks a world she genuinely envisions and fights for. After all, as you might imagine would be apparent to a Hungarian immigrant to Germany, we don’t live in anything like the world of this album. Good people are smothered and buried alive under hierarchies and gender bias and racism. Anyone awake and reading the news saw Europe’s creeping dystopia for years, but surely no one could miss it over the past year. Berlin’s brand often masks its own darker side. After a year of watching the planet’s population in peril, that’s the sort of illusion we should utterly shatter.
We need some Dragon Riders to captain the ship now; you might need to summon your own. So I say give yourself over to this one when it arrives shortly – it’s the voice unironic, uncensored idealism and earnest spirit. And that kind of imagination is desperately needed.
More on this when Hybrid Dimension II arrives on 7th May.
For a little more music and a sense of Anna’s context, here’s The Allegorist’s mix for Somnus London / Ajaa Music Radio from the end of March:
Also, the other reason I think these tracks work is – Anna’s live sets are blazing fire. She can effortlessly pivot to a floor-shaking club number, too, which I’m sure most people listening to the albums would fail to anticipate.
It’s one of those laptop sets that isn’t just push-play. Always up for more of those – gentle reminder since I gather we will eventually have clubs again, and bookers, I can see you, so please act accordingly.
And linkhole –