The Home of the Headhunter is deeply weird, an immersive audiovisual experience that will make owners feel they’ve inherited a treasure. The music is meant to be enjoyed with the 30-page mini-book, a phantasmagorical tale of a species born of a god’s eyeball, living inside a giant’s head. It’s the sort of project that makes one remark, “there must have been drugs involved,” and in support of this theory, the later stages include references to fictional hallucinogens. But it’s too intelligent to be dismissed in such a simple way. The project introduces such a well-defined fantasy world, with such consistent inner logic, that one can imagine other worlds springing from the giant’s head: a series of card games, for example (portrayed in the story), or a multi-level realm such as Dungeons and Dragons, an obvious but tangential reference.
Christian Kriegeskotte (LYNXX) writes that he and graphic artist Michael Koehler were inspired by “cassette tape-story books like the ones we used to read and listen to obsessively as children of the 80s.” One can imagine (or if old enough, remember) sprawling across a bed or floor, watching the inner paper of the tape unfold, and poring over the stories found within, all while listening to the music on a beat-up tape deck, then trying to figure out how to fold the booklet back into the plastic case. At 30 pages, this particular booklet is a beast, although a friendly beast. As Kriegeskotte has worked in film and Koehler in the graphic arts, their prose collaboration is a blend of both worlds. Layer by layer, one dives into the life and times of the Zodoso, until one is convinced they are real, existing just beyond our perception. On its own, this would be a fitting book for a strange (albeit benign) child. Now we add the music.
LYNXX’s soundscapes are intensely cinematic, best enjoyed while perusing the prose and art. Multiple genres are referenced, from rock to electronic and even to field recordings. The guitar and synth may seem the dominant forces, but the most memorable aspects are the tiny touches: the ritualistic chants of the Zodoso at work, the dripping of stalactites, the tolling of bells. At 2:24 of Side A, some giant riffs enter along with massive drum hits ~ progressive rock fans will sit up and take notice. Each side contains four parts, referencing different segments of the story; but each flows as a suite, eliminating the need to interrupt the interactive experience to ascertain that one is on the right page. The otherworldly nature of the music matches the monograph. This isn’t linear music, but it has inner cohesion, an impressive feat considering the fact that the timbres tumble from Atari to sludge.
Side B begins with birds, bells and drones, representing a further descent into the giant’s head, which precedes the extraction of resources and their subsequent rewards. Soon the synths take over like an invasive species (of which the Zodoso, apologetically, are one). They harvest, carve, incant, swim and dream. While reading their exploits, we dream as well. This world is rich in resources, and we’ve been given the key to enter. We’re happy to report that The Home of the Headhunter is the first of a series; more fantastic adventures await for the brave, the hardy, the imaginative! (Richard Allen)