Artist: MCHY I Porosty ( Bartosz Zaskórski)
Release date: 11/14/2021
Postapoland is an anomaly, even among the already quite anomalous HDK catalogue. Rather than a telling a tried and true tale of daring Tolkien inspired parties exploring dark depths or vampires melancholically lamenting in their catacombs, Postapoland brings us a world both utterly bizarre and yet comfortably familiar. The story behind the music is that a great mountain at the edge of the known world hosts on its peak an ancient pyramid. Within this time lost pyramid is a crypt, and within the crypt is an ancient, angry sun. This sun is stirred from its slumber by an unknown, robed figure and proceeds to mutate all living matter on the planet. The world, now devoid of human life, is inhabited by brutal “Megabeasts” that strive to dominate all life. These megabeasts also act as homes to some lesser, more benign mutants who are just trying to survive. The world as we know it is gone, and in its place is the eternal Postapoland.
Quite the concept, but not altogether wholly alien to those familiar with the tropes and storytelling of the weird fiction catalogue (I would especially note the story has a somewhat similarly grotesque vibe to the “Zothique” cycle of stories by Clark Ashton Smith) or even the undulating masses David Cronenberg and H.R. Giger are so revered for. As with a number of HDK releases, the tracks of the album run parallel to the events of a story written by the musician. This story exists in the form of a comic book, with beautiful yet hideous figures strewn across every page. And when I say beautiful I truly mean it, this book is an absolutely gorgeous piece of lines and ink. I believe the album stands on its own merit but I would be remiss to not recommend picking up the book as well. (Link below)
The album introduces us to its narrative with the warm piping synth leads of “The Mountain Pyramid”. These ascending toots are accompanied and eventually overthrown by a low, rhythmic drone that shows us we need to abandon our comfort zone from the get-go; this world is a strange one, and as the listener we are best served abandoning our notions of reality. From there we move on to the cinematic “Rise Thou Idiot Sun” with shimmering synths and what sounds like a faux choir. Closing off the track we have dirge like pipes, which leads us into the cold and melancholic machine buzz filled “Time to go”. Cinematic is the operative word in this whole piece; drawing from classic synth work of 70’s and 80’s sci-fi/ fantasy film scores, the multi-faceted nature of these tracks conjure a well realized world that is truly epic and scope yet so humbly personal. A land populated by oddities, portrayed to us as listeners through the asymmetric bloops and reverb drowned samples of “From Nowhere to Nowhere” and “An Ad in the World with no Adds” respectively, or the seemingly endless chasm conjured up by the droning, stuttering bass synth on “Hypomutated Megabeasts”. Postapoland is a world that delights and disquiets in equal measure.
Monstrous beings and hideous figures live within all of us. We are as the wandering megabeasts and our good natured spirit dwells within us as meek denizens to lumbering towers of angst and turmoil. Much like the furious, weird sun that plagues the world of Postapoland, mankind has buried within its most forgotten crypts a disquieting nature that can alter the world around it substantially. In an ever advancing age of tech and information, we often bury our monsters. It would best serve us to come to terms with this side of ourselves, and find catharsis in the metaphorical mirror artists aim at us. Postapoland shows us that this mirror may reflect an abominable appearance. And though it may be hard to stomach at first, we may find a sense of familiarity with the horror and reconcile it.
If you are so inclined to enjoy the album as it was intended to be by the artist and feel like picking up a gorgeous piece of art, the comic can be purchased at:
The digital release of the album can be streamed here: