Title: Loss And Vertigo
Label: We Only Share
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
This is so good…
… so… so… good…
… gonna have to tell you about it.
It’s like… I’m being transported to the skies… the skies beyond our skies, I mean. The skies at the very edge of the universe. I’m being taken there by humanoid entities. White, linen garments drape their bodies… others are nude. They have wings, like a swans’ wings, and these allow them to travel great distances through space. Typically, however, they seem to materialize where they wish to be. We arrive, them and I, to these great skies where I sit among clouds and am granted audience with a giant man with a long, white beard. He is actually not a man, or a woman, but something else beyond comprehension. He says to me, “I once made everything that exists in your universe, but you can thank Leo Weinberger for making the album you were just listening to. Pretty good shit, huh?” And I am awed. I then snap out of it and find myself in front of the computer again.
Don’t believe me? That’s ok, it was all figurative.
‘Bright Morning’ or ‘Bright Mourning’ (the spelling differs in a couple of places) is the first piece of music on this work. A distorted, breathy bouncing sound, some other noises… then vocals, treated with some strange effect that seems to cause it to wobble. Piano. Glitching up. An insect sings. The vocals are ultra-bizarre, strained and keyless, the sounds and noises are of an alien beauty. Shimmering, spacy, abstract. Swinging, throbbing, with shaky ambient atmospheres, intense rotary harmonics.
On ‘Contrived Mirth’ a shrill noise greets our ears, along with a strange, reversed acoustic drum set. Flutes, absolutely wonderful, white-noise randomized modulation. The vocals… this whole track feels post-psychedelic, completely warped! Spaceship noise, abduction, totally mindfucking. I love the use of effect treatments on the vocals! This is incredible.
‘Loss And Vertigo’ spins around and around… a low drone, insect noise like teeth and carapace, and we hear an acoustic guitar. Very minimal strumming, a phaser in the background, lots of strange noise. The vocals are muffled. A ride cymbal at one point is repeatedly struck and sounds like it’s being run through an effect of some kind that makes it sound as if it were a part of reality breaking apart, crackling, intangible but audible. The music intensifies, layers of paranoia-inducing humming and drone.
The next track is ‘Shadow Health’… a shadow in the valley of health? I am become health; sustainer of worlds. A horse clops by… a horse who’s shoeless hooves sound suspiciously like kick drums. A fuzzy whistle, kind of like the tuning knob on a radio… lots of curious sounds. The general mood of this album is of a sort of illness, and an edge-of-your-seat foreboding. The vocals do so much to establish it, particularly on this track. At times I’m reminded a lot of Pere Ubu. Birds… birds everywhere.
A kick drum comes on, but do not expect a sudden turn to house music — though it does sound like it might do that for all of half a second. Instead, they echo, reverse-echo… sickly piano comes in, a sort of wonky-tonk… noise flits around in the mix, there are drone harmonics, mental vocals that are all over the place, changing often. There is a moment in which it sounds like someone put some spoons in the garbage disposal and turned it on, while ritualistically sacrificing a small rodent.
Next is ‘The Wishing Wound’. Quick, make a wish! Did you wish for grimy sawtooth bass synths, softly modulating harmonics, squelches, echoing and disturbing vocals, someone slamming against the walls, a soundscape of damaged brains and horror on parallel with some of the best of that sort of thing? I hope so, because that’s what we got! And it is glorious. And very unsettling.
‘Vapid Rite’ ends the work, a spoken word piece at first. We hear a low engine type sound, then some sucking distorted noise, diseased female choirds, growling… wow! It has some beautiful moments, one in particular with drones and alarm tones and a gagging throaty noise, synthetic I think, and wonderful ambiance generally. Breathy, distorted “aaaahs” and then it drifts away.
In final, this is a bizarre masterpiece. You will never hear another album like it. Do beware of the track times, though… they lie. The music is much shorter than the mp3 file information would suggest, some kind of bug. It somehow adds to the strangeness of this record. Do your ears a favour and download it at the following link, though. Mandatory listening, I insist! Like delving into madness, you have to do it from time to time… and you are likely going to enjoy the experience, in this case!