Friday, 9 April 2010

Cages - Folding Space

Cages – Folding Space, 2009 (Cold Spring - CSR121CD) 80%

The work of Nola Ranallo and David Bailey, Cages’ Folding Spaces represents the welding together of the pair’s dreams, translated into an audio context and shared via tapes, packaged and posted before being knitted together to form a quite singular release that is enough to leave even the most ardent comparer scratching his head. Nola’s vocal style is similarly varied to Bjӧrk, though with a touch of the irreverent ire of Diamanda Galas. Her looped panting on third track ‘Cavern’ lends the release a DIY feel and within its context conjures the sort of trapped nightmare sequences represented by Panicsville’s Andy Ortmann. The highlights of the album for me however remain the utterly beautiful ‘Dream Dip Sailor’ and blues-tinged ‘Psalm to Mother’, during which Nola’s vocals threaten to lurch right out of the speakers and take on the sort of dreadful physical manifestation only Takeshi Miike himself could envision. Not for the fainthearted, but paradoxically rather gorgeous, the lyrics mirror the music and I couldn’t help but think of not only Edward Lear, but a Joanna Newsom of a darker, more desolate galaxy.

“Why drink from the trees
when the leaves are soaked with piss
The moon is a locket filled with tar
To paste over each scar”

A truly unique affair, ‘Folding Space’ is by no means a typical Cold Spring album, but will find a treasured place in the collection of many an open-minded lover of extreme and experimental music.

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