De la Catessen Records presents Spiritual Disturbance, from Elijah Värttö's project Leitmotiv Limbo. Currently based in Port Adelaide, Australia, Leitmotiv Limbo has developed, slowly but surely, over the past few decades, through international travel and relocation, including 5 years in Estonia (2008-2012), where Värttö set up the Servataguse Muusika concert series. Spiritual Disturbance was recorded in 2020 and released privately as a small run of recycled cassettes - this CD version is the first widely available Leitmotiv Limbo release since their 2018 split cassette with RNPno2 on Finnish label Hyster Tapes.
Central to the Leitmotiv Limbo ethos are Värttö’s self-made instruments, built from discarded, repurposed, and found objects, such as loose springs and other metallic implements. Affixed to wood sourced from a disused and dismantled piano frame, their deep resonance, both percussive and timbral, positions Värttö’s approach within a trajectory of instrument builders / creators – you can hear echoes of the music of artists like Z’ev, Hal Rammel, and Rod Cooper in the shattered textures and industrial drones of tracks like “Submersive”, for example. There’s also a tactility to the performances here, a haptic resonance, and a strange, viscous sensuality to the material.
Värttö recorded Spiritual Disturbance in a church hall in Adelaide, on a four-track, using room mics and direct line input, and it’s made up largely of one-take performances on Värttö’s self-made instruments, with minimal intervention, at times, from analogue filters and a drum synth. The combination of the evacuated tonalities of the instruments, plus the cavernous reverb of the recording space, gives Spiritual Disturbance a distinctly ritualistic sensibility; poetic and primitive, but eloquent in its exploration. It also brings to mind mysterious projects like Organum, Morphogenesis, Metgumbnerbone, perhaps even an acoustic Voice Crack, where conceptual rigour meets unpredictability via real-time improvisation. Spectral and haunted, Leitmotiv Limbo’s Spiritual Disturbance is a compelling collection of oneiric expression, and an eloquent articulation of a unique, invented universe.