Sewerslvt


(Copyright © 2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of Use )
Don't Be Afraid of Dying (2017), 4/10
Starving Slvts Always Get Their Fix (2018), 5/10
Sewer//Slvt (2018), 6.5/10
Drowning in the Sewer (2019), 6.5/10
Draining Love Story (2020), 6.5/10
The World Is Fvcked (2020), 7.5/10 (EP)
Tortvred Lesbians Ripped Apart (2021), 7/10 (mini)
Skitzofrenia Simulation (2021), 6/10
We Had Good Times Together Don't Forget That (2021), 7.5/10
Links:

Sewerslvt, the project of an Australian producer (a transgender woman who called herself Jvnko, and released dance-party mashups as Sadboy Sheldon, before adopting the female identity and becoming Jvne), debuted with the amateurish home-made instrumental laptop hip-hop of Don't Be Afraid of Dying (2017), whose songs are mostly sampled melodies over trap beats. The album became known not for the music but because the introduction featured the sample of a real phone call made by a girl after finding her brother dead, suicide.

The ten-song EP Interdimensional Snuff Films (april 2018) was equally inept, but this one had a good excuse: it contains music that she didn't complete because she tries to kill herself. They are mostly laptop remixes, notably of Death Grips songs.

She offered a more professional version of those ideas on the double EP Sewer//Slvt (august 2018), although still made at home on a laptop. It opens with the a slab of abrasive industrial music and chopped-up vocals (Sanae), continues with a lugubrious remix of Sade (Cute Panties Soaked in Arizona Iced Tea) and a booming remix of Daft Punk's Doin' It Right, and peaks with the unbridled polyrhythm (a clever rewrite of Death Grips) and chirping Japanese vocal sample of Pretty Cvnt, her first Internet hit. The second part boasts archetypes of her visceral drum'n'bass such as Oni and especially NTR Ending. She can't help it: Catharsis, after four minutes of funereal drones and a minute of sudden guitar distortion, ends with the audio of the last video left by a Bjork stalker before he killed himself (apparently you can even hear the blood gushing out of his body). And after this is EP ends with a burst of infernal drum'n'bass (Slvt).

No surprise that Starving Slvts Always Get Their Fix (november 2018) is drenched in a claustrophobic atmosphere. After nebula-like droning, the seven-minute Starving Slvt Overture blends power electronics and manic Death Grips-style breakcore. Dopamine Rush, reverses the process, starting with an industrial-hop bacchanal and ending in a cosmic black hole. The recipe for much of the rest is to mix sample-based drum'n'bass and industrial music (Cold Steel and The Maw) or sample-based drum'n'bass and loops (Witness the Death). All the songs feel unfinished, even though this time she did try to finish them. It is still a transitional album, but the atmoshere is there to stay.

The five-song EP Child Sacrifice (november 2018) caused another controversy because of a gruesome cover depicting sex abuse. Nonetheless the EP contains two of her "classics" of looped and sampled drum'n'bass: Was It Weird I Listened to "Im God" by Clams Casino's When I Lost My Virginity and especially the noisy and chaotic eight-minute The Grilled Fish's Ballad.

She became a darling of the transgender subculture on social media (like 4chan) but increasingly attracted controversy for her obsession with depravity and death, and, musically, for a music that was fundamentally just an art of sampling and looping. She excelled (explicitly or implicitly) at marketing herself on the Internet, at becoming a center of mass for debates and discussions about the depression of persecuted transgender people. The music embodied aesthetically that mood and angst, that dimension of "weird" existence.

The sprawling Drowning in the Sewer (june 2019) is just one giant factory of sample-based electronic dance music, a formula that achieves a chaotic and visceral zanith in Luciferians and Squids, whereas there is little substance in the eight-minute repetition of Lolibox. The evocative moments, as usual, have sinister elements: Suicide in Fragments samples video artist Lasse Gjertsen's "Det Ultimate Selvmord/ The Ultimate Suicide", which is about a real suicide; Junko Loves You is about her male alter-ego, with the vocals twisted to sound like a church choir and contrasting with the relentless drumming. And so the eight-minute crescendo of noise in Death & Humanity can be interpreted as an existential meditation (albeit a trivial musical one). The 16-minute Nothingness is "much ado about nothing": a lot of noise in difference timbres for six minutes, then a more atmospheric and fluctuating noise (with a sudden terrifying peak at about 10 minutes), then a lugubrious descent into a dark space of drones, and then... the real audio of a famous live-streamed suicide of 2018 (an 18-year-old Pakistani-born user of 4chan's "r9k" board). The insertion of audio documents of real cases of suicide propels Jvne's simplistic music into another dimension. What came after (trivial, derivative, etc) suddenly feels like a stream of consciousness.

The five-song EP Infatuation (november 2019) contains more of that darkly self-flagellating drum'n'bass (Inpeace) and more of those recontextualized samples (Intheend, which appropriates Robert Miles' Children).

She had mastered the technology by the time she recorded Draining Love Story (january 2020), whose cover could be a portrait of the unattainable Jvne that Jvnko was aiming for. The balance between the depressing electronic undertones (and samples) and the euphoric beats reached a new peak in compositions like Yandere Complex and the eight-minute Down the Drain. An almost shamanic power emanates from the eight-minute Mr Kill Myself, one of the iconic drum and bass songs of the era. At the same time, the collage of samples, beats and drones reaches a new level of sophistication in pieces like Ecifircas that are fundamentally dance-music without dancers. Lexapro Delirium, instead, falls squarely into a conventional techno/house tradition, and This Fleeting Feeling flirts with the ethereal ambient style that had infiltrated several songs of the past... and ends with a sobbing girl. The closer, the eight-minute Slowdeath, is the worst offender: mostly a trivial and redundant loop of the very same beat and melody.

There was more art than posture on the seven-song EP The World Is Fvcked (december 2020): the Japanese-tinged ambient drum'n'bass Make-me-sad, the industrial bacchanal Psychosis, the acrobatic breakcore of Something of Value Less Than That, and the ambient techno jam Ruined Snowy Day, culminating with the seven-minute distorted and hysterically pumping techno I Really Like You Pt 2 and the relentless seven-minute carpet bombing of Jvnko Still Loves You (with a killer acceleration before the sixth minute and a desolate choir afterwards), two compositions that superimpose sonically the visceral and the tragic dimensions of her existence. Compact and with no filler, in terms of sheer emotional power, it was superior to any of the albums.

Skitzofrenia Simulation (june 2021) is perhaps less depressing but no less aggressive, thanks to abstract beat-less electronic soundscapes like Car Accident and the chill-out drum'n'bass of pieces like Purple Hearts in Her Eyes. The cosmic locomotive Looming.Sorrow.Descent is the new highlight, one of her most relentless sonic assaults. As the song's title says, Restlessness is a restless and deafening house jamming. The pulverizing industrial music of Slvtcrvsher only lasts two minutes. I Break My Heart and Yours and Never Existed (the two emotional peaks) expose plaintive melody and brutal drum'n'bass as two sides of the same coin.

The mixtape Tortvred Lesbians Ripped Apart (june 2021) contains one 22-minute long collage, Tortvred Lesbians Ripped Apart, the usual drumming acceleration ends at the seven-minute mark, replaced by tense droning distortion whose crescendo leads to infernal cacophony, from which a pounding techno beat struggles to arise, suffocated the first time by the miasma but triumphant the second time, at the very end, save disintegrating in the general implosion of the music.

The haunting, poignant and cathartic frenzy of her breakcore collided with real life on We Had Good Times Together Don't Forget That (november2021) apparently conceived after the suicide of her partner. Among the user-friendly tracks, All the Joy in Life Was Gone Once You Left begins neurotic but settles into a regular steady propulsive beat with a loud synth melody in search of a rousing chorus; and the exuberant techno carillon Light at the End of the Tunnel sounds unusually upbeat. That's before venturing into the explosive Ultradespair, which betrays angst and anger, and the harsh and oneiric ambient drones of Borderline, the disfigured melody of Dissociating, which is the dancefloor version of shoegaze-rock, and the supernatural pounding nightmare of Blissful Overdose, i.e. grief-stricken compositions that peel off her soul, layer by layer. The theme of the album becomes more and more direct. It's impressive how the wistful and almost playful Die Alone metabolizes into its expressionist finale. It's impressive how much pain is packed into Her, presumably a requiem for her lover, a nonlinear collage of manic beats, nostalgic vocal samples and shrieking synth melodies that ends in a cosmic vortex. And it's impressive (if a little unfocused) how the 17-minute Goodbye, a suite in multiple movements, begins pretty lame but then (at the seven-minute mark) picks up energy and becomes the musical equivalent of uncontrollable sobbing, and fully blossoms into a melodic crescendo over an exuberant beat evoking wild partying, which then fades into a buzzing unstable cosmic void.

Being harassed online, in 2021 Sewerslvt stopped releasing music.

(Copyright © 2023 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )