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Listen to the Ravishing Sonic Fire of COLLAPSING SCENERY “The Grey Cardinal” (Ryan Ross Remix)

Collapsing Scenery
Kate Bowman

Capitalism has its own brand of fascism. It’s the kind of social control and rigid hierarchy that relies on our mindless consumption of poison so that we kill our mental, emotional, and physical bodies. It relies on skillful manipulation and double-speak to convince us that equilibrium is impossible—a utopia, a pipe dream. It tells us to buy the Pride-themed granola bars rather than rage against a system that dehumanizes LGBTQ+ bodies. It tells us to quietly hope for a more benign world order rather than set fire to the current one. It tells us to acknowledge stolen indigenous land rather than dig up the mass graves full of stolen indigenous children. That’s where Collapsing Scenery’s new single “The Grey Cardinal (Ryan Ross Remix)” has my mind going. I’m seeing funeral pyres when I close my eyes—monstrous, decadent flames consuming the corrupt palaces of man and god. This track is haunting, soothing, and stomach-churningly resplendent. You can pre-save it here and order their album Stress Positions here, and hear “The Grey Cardinal (Ryan Ross Remix)” in our exclusive premiere below.

Ryan Ross (formerly of Panic! at the Disco) is an old friend and compatriot. His remix entirely comprises deep and obscure samples, layered and pitched and time-stretched to create an entirely new song underpinning the original vocal. It’s a sort of labor-intensive musical collage and it gives an entirely new life and feeling to the melody and lyrics.

Reggie Debris, Collapsing Scenery

“Spare this lizard crawling towards you, treacherous boy/It wants to die between your fingers” – Martial

“Learn to predict a fire with unerring precision
Then burn down the house to fulfill the prediction” – Milosz


You set fire to your own house
Out like a lizard but in like a mouse

You can’t tame the beast, the beast tames you
In the Cardinal’s America, the swamp drains you

Everywhere’s an end, and everywhere’s a middle
The means to an end: an unsolvable riddle

You traffic in the diction of gangster fiction
Your boilerplate reads: perpetual friction

‘Every God is a God of death’
We draw them closer with every breath

Your papa’s a monster, his passerine too
but “everything which burns is not consumed”

Hellfire won’t manage to turn them to ash
They nest in volcanoes, in mountains of cash

‘Every God is a God of death’
We draw them closer with every breath

(Why take care of the past
When the past couldn’t take care of you?)

Waiting for a Reischtag fire
A new world born out of a funeral pyre

Bathe in the blood or incandesce
Your soul or your body must experience death

‘Every God is a God of death’
We draw them closer with every breath

mi-16 collapsing scenery – stress positions (2019) triple gatefold 2xLP vinyl detail
Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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