Posts Tagged ‘Supernatural Cat’

Supernatural Cat – 8th November 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

Eerie strings streak across an ominous low-end throb, transitioning expansive vaporous drones with serrated edges on the album’s first track, ‘Hefy Lamarr’ and it sets the ominous tone for the rest of the album, as piano notes hover in rarefied atmospheres with a slow-decaying sustain carried on a cold, dry echo. It’s minimal, sparse, dislocated, disconnected. There are no sonic hugs on Doppeleben. It’s an album that builds walls, force-fields. Nihilism, isolation, introspection… these are the moods of Doppeleben.

So what do we know about the artist? The Mon is the solo name of a new project by Urlo, best known as the lead vocalist, bass and synth player in heavy trio Ufomammut. Doppelleben is The Mon’s debut album, and, as the press release notes, ‘where Ufomammut create mind-expanding, heavy psychedelic, almost other-dimensional sounds, The Mon by comparison is far more intimate, looking inward, as Urlo explores and examines his inner most thoughts through music.’

And Doppeleben is very much an introspective set, which is far from heavy and as such, it is very much a departure from Urlo’s work with Ufomammut. But heavy is relative, and ‘Relics’ still manages to come on like Ministry on ketamine, with distorted, raw-throated vocals hollering out against a backdrop of plodding percussion and howling feedback. It’s representative, but it isn’t: the atmosphere of Doppeleben recreates the claustrophobic intensity of The Cure’s Pornography, while drawing on the stark discomfort that pervaded the alternative scene circa 1979-1983.

Fear chords ripple, delicate notes drip and drop over slow surges of dark density which rise and swell through interminable sustain. ‘Hate One I Hate’ sounds like Earth circa 1992 covering ‘One Hundred Years’ by The Cure. Devoid of percussion, the glacial synths and thick, crawling guitars coalesce for create a spine-stiffening tension.

With clattering metallic drums battering away in the background, ‘Blut’ grinds hard at a bleak post-punk seam, landing somewhere between Movement era New Order and Downward Spiral era NIN, with hints of Visage’s ‘Fade to Grey’ thrown in for good measure. It’s compellingly intense and makes optimal use of a handful of chords in a descending sequence.

In contrast, ‘Her’ offers a bend of shoegaze haze and Bauhaus-hued art rock as it washes blank curtains of synth and monotone vocals before a cascade of slide guitar swerves its way into the mix. And yet never could it be as far removed from country as the notes bend and glide and slide to fade.

Low, slow, and dark, there’s an oppressive density to Doppeleben which is hard to define and even harder to let go.

AA

The Mon – Doppeleben

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Supernatural Cat – 16th September 2016

Christopher Nosnibor

Christ, what is this? 15 seconds in and already I can feel my brain bending and shaking as it struggles to compute all that’s going on. A pile of CDs slide off the shelf overhead and narrowly miss my face. Ok, so my office is a tip, a collapsed cascade of books and CDs that resembles an attempt to recreate the vibe of Francis Bacon’s studio and JG Ballard’s writing room, but this is pretty much unprecedented. Disc avalanches are usually provoked by my trying to extract one from one precarious pile or another. But then, GoRgO is pretty unprecedented (although I suspect slightly less so for seasoned fans of the band).

The press release describes GoRgO, the latest album from Lin (bass), Lan (bass) and Lon (drums) aka MoRkObOt as a work of ‘low-end noise rock origami’. And is it ever? You wouldn’t put this explosive racket in the drum ‘n’ bass section of any record shop (assuming, for a moment, that record shops still existed in the broader society), but breaking it down to its component parts, that’s exactly what it is. And with one drummer and two bassists, it’s drum with a whole lotta bass. Bass that sounds like guitar. Bass that sounds like the grinding of rock on rock. Bass that sounds like lorries in collision. Bass that sounds like machine-gun fire. Bass that will fuck with your innards and your equilibrium. Bass that sounds like the gnarliest metal riffs. Bass that sounds like the emptying of bowels after eight pints and a vindaloo. Bass that sounds like nothing on earth.

But no, while it’s all about the bass, there is treble. I mean, no treble would be utterly ridiculous. Imagine what that would actually sound like! The range of frequencies MoRkObOt wring from all that bass is astounding. And it’s not just noise: this is highly technical and innovative. Yes, it’ hits like a tornado and is absolutely dizzying, but there’s a lot to hear and a lot to appreciate. There are flickers of melody, groove and a lot of dynamics. There’s a lot to hear and a lot to take in.

The drumming’s pretty impressive, too.

morkobot-gorgo