Jarboe has been known for her numerous and diverse collaborations. The former Swans member has gone to perform with an impressive array of musicians, ranging from post-metal legends Neurosis, industrial mastermind Justin Broadrick, to experimental cellist Helen Money, and has also appeared as a guest in the works of Puscifer, Lustmord, A Perfect Circle and Oxbow among many more. For her latest collaboration, coming out of Consouling Records, Jarboe works with Italian experimental, noise rock entity Father Murphy.
With a sound that is not easy to describe, encompassing elements from art rock to harsh noise, Father Murphy has been steadily perfecting their craft. Starting off with their self-titled debut record in 2004, the band has been in a path of improvement and rejuvenation, that led to the excellent Croce, which came out in 2015 through The Flenser. Elements of psychedelia and minimal music found side by side with industrial notions and experimental endeavors, projecting an excellent work of forward thinking music.
The interesting aspect of this collaboration is exactly that. The manner in which Jarboe and Father Murphy worked on the music. The two artists separately begun working on one track each, and once the track was formed, it was passed on to the other artist to finish it off and complete the work. As a result, the tracks retain the identity of each performer, while at the same time forming a cohesive narrative.
The core attribute of this work is the mesmerizing feeling that overwhelms the soundscapes. The use of repetition manages to create that hypnotic dirge, which slowly unfolds in the second track of the album “Truth or Consequences.” The artists dive into the sonic experimentation, unafraid to use elements that come with a sharper edge and create a more tense environment. This comes into contradiction with the more laid back and reserved ambiance present in “The Ferryman,” which features a folkier element.
The background in both cases is very important in the construction of this sonic illusion, acting as the mediator between the noise and the melodic aspects of the music. The opening track features a single guitar, mournfully strumming, which perfectly sets the tone with its repetitive progression. While the guitar acts as a force to establish the scenery, the piano in “Truth or Consequences” provides the only moments of solace from the darkness, something that is rebalanced when the organ swoops in to make everything dimmer.
Jarboe's vocal delivery is the constant force that builds the bridge between all the different moods of this EP. Moving between ethereal deliveries and mantra-like repetitions, the performance is the factor that awakens this underlying primal ritualism lying at the core of the record.
Through the short duration of this EP, Father Murphy and Jarboe achieve in creating an alluring and mesmerizing offering, implementing experimental methods and dense atmospheres in completing this task. The experience is well laid-out, but shorter than it would be appropriate. Not fun when the hook is in to then let you go so easily.
7.0 / 10
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