Photos by Ray Collins
Tributes come in many forms. Watching the news yesterday, I came across several. Most of them are heartbreaking and occasion a delicate kind of retrospect; one that’s easily broken by anger and cynicism, but warm with deep sorrow and despair at its core. Aside from that, for reasons I’d rather not try to explain, I have a fascination for reliving the horrific details of September 11. I can watch raw footage for hours and all of it is intensely emotional and compelling when I think of the heroism that took place that day; but nothing is more gripping than watching videos of the people who were forced to jump out the windows of the towers. Either because they were ‘blown out’ by the overwhelming smoke and flames, forced by fear of being burned alive only to grasp a fleeting sense of control and willingly jump to their end rather than submit to the fire.
The thought process that led to that decision is what I think about most. It wouldn’t be fair to call them suicides; officially none of the deaths other than those of the hijackers were ruled out as suicides. It doesn’t take much to realize that what happened with the jumpers is different. I’m not alone in this, thousands of images and videos are available on YouTube in the form of short documentaries; tributes for the jumpers. News coverage snippets and magazine clippings compiled into eerie mash ups; some set to the tune of some sepulchral piano melody or a voice over. Perhaps the video’s creator giving a personal account, or an informal eulogy, to adorn their tribute.
In a way spending hours crouched over my laptop, constantly on the verge of shedding tears, I too have formulated my own dedication to the people who died that day, my own tribute.
I was first introduced to Lorn in 2010 on a podcast from a Los Angeles based outfit of DJs that hosted a weekly show titled Low End Theory. The event was often paired with an Itunes podcast of the same name and a few weeks later Lorn released his debut album Nothing Else on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint, a label that at the time was known for housing the releases of heady J Dilla-praising beat makers, many of them regulars if not residents at Low End Theory’s weekly party. In my mind a lot of the music in that scene exhumed a particular atmosphere that Lorn didn’t seem to fit into. Lorn was present in the scene but still detached and alone: the word Lorn literally means lonely and abandoned, an apt name even now. His latest EP Debris [ZEN10362] is a twisting and churning retrospect of his last album Ask The Dust, an incredible album i’m still absorbing today more than a year after its release. Debris is certainly within the same vein as Ask The Dust but the darkness is tattered, a bit further from being beyond repair and even more further from anything in electronic music. If you overlapped the modern electronic music landscape over a reminiscence of relevant music from the past according to emotive response, much of modern electronic music would be situated next to 90’s mainstream dance-pop artist and 80’s synth bands like Erasure. Lorn would be in the smoking section with Trent Reznor and Leonard Cohen.