Ambition is an interesting thing, and pitching your efforts in that narrow gap between tedious and unachievable is a genuine challenge if you’re trying to create something truly ‘different’.
Usidoh is a project from Leicester multi instrumentalist Adam Weikert, but while he’s been releasing prolifically under his Weikie moniker and as a member of Her Name Is Calla for years, this is him as we’ve never seen him before. Ostensibly it’s a series of poems with accompanying music, and on paper it’s an imposing and ambitious piece of work.
The poem’s somewhat impenetrable titles mask their subject matter – they were written years ago to help Adam deal with a series of traumas in his youth. Throughout the beautifully composed book which comprises Usidoh’s physical form, the words are laid on the page erratically, without constraints, wound around the Vishnu Prasad’s sketched illustrations. It’s something that’s reflected in the diverse approaches to each poem’s accompanying music – unconstrained and loosely threaded, something which gives the work as a whole a writhing almost manic quality.
It’s important to acknowledge just how dark Usidoh is. It’s bleak and claustrophobic for large stretches of time – occasionally emerging in to melodic sunlight for only the briefest of moments. Though the subject matter is never directly referenced it’s clear that depression and suicide are overarching themes here. The poems are not an easy read. The music is not an easy listen.
But should they be? You are required to battle through and commit here, but the rewards are all the greater for it. This is no coffee table book or background music. It’s something you immerse yourself in, let wash over you, and emerge on the other side changed – if only for the briefest of moments.
Usidoh is, in the most sincere sense of the word ‘ambitious’ and that ambition absolutely pays off. As the evenings creep in the record finds it’s natural environment, invest your time in it and it will reward you in dividends.