Heroines of the U.S.S.R - A Map of Lost Causes

It is with great pleasure that we welcome the return of Heroines of the U.S.S.R and present his stunning, second release for Archaic Horizon, A Map Of Lost Causes.

Despite being recorded less than a year after Spring Snow, during Winter ’08 and Spring ’09, the two releases are – literally – worlds apart. A Map Of Lost Causes tells the mysterious tale of a forgotten continent and the strange people who dwell there, and is loosely based on a book Matt Spokes has been writing for several years, Shinje and The Last Night Tree.

Matt’s evocative, crystalline style is wonderfully manifested yet again, but whilst Spring Snow created a more general atmosphere, A Map Of Lost Causes is more visual in its effect, projecting the murk and monuments of his strange, isolated land onto the mind’s eye.

It is tempting to liken this album to a soundtrack – it certainly displays the hallmarks – but that would be doing this beautiful work an injustice: there is such depth to the piece, its imagery so vivid, that it would be more accurate to describe it as the movie within a soundtrack. It is remarkably fitting, then, that each track was itself built on tiny samples of film scores; it is remarkable that these mere fragments have been remixed and elevated to this higher state of being.

Frankly, I have tried, and failed, many times to adequately describe this release. It is certainly not beyond description, but there is something magical, something elemental, about this work that deserves more than mere words to define its contours. Matt Spokes’ Map is as deep, and as intriguing, as you want to make it, and so I leave it to you, listener, to explore it for yourself.

The excellent cover art for the release was designed and produced by Robin Van Rijn.

– Dan


October 21, 2012
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