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This flurry of sound art comes from collaborators Crys Cole and James Rushford, who perform whispered secrets and weave quiet narratives through natural soundscapes of noise and melody. The record uses an unconventional roster of instruments, using its resources liberally: along with viola, natural percussion and contact mics, Rushford's pet chickens make an appearance. 'Cover You Will Softer Me' is pretty weird like that.

LP £14.99 PP11

LP on Penultimate Press. Edition of 400 copies.

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Cover You Will Softer Me by Ora Clementi
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8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 16 October 2014

Ora Clementi is an international duo comprising of Canadian sound artist and improvisor crys cole (all lower case, it would seem), who has previously worked with the likes of Keith Rowe and Oren Ambarchi, and Australian performer and composer James Rushford, who previously appeared alongside Joe Talia on the 'Manhunter' LP. On 'Cover You Will Softer Me' they conjure up an hallucinatory mixture of field recordings, vocal performance and awkward droney ambient textures featuring both conventional instrumentation (farfisa, percussion, piano, viola) and more unusual items such as ocarinas, "miscellaneous junk" and James' pet chickens.

The result is a hazy and uneasy listen, with all sorts of bumps and drips suspended in greasy indignant drones, sometimes bursting out into unexpected noise, sometimes partially obscuring a muffled, mumbling voice. Listening to it is like getting trapped in some sort of post-sleep hallucination where you can't tell what's real and what isn't. After focusing on drones and textures for the duration of the first side, the first real taste of melody appears at the start of side B, a plaintive underwater waltz accompanied by birdsong and a male and female voice which both hesitantly mumble as if they're confused or only half-conscious.

It's woozy and unsettling. After this we've got some Harold Budd-ish piano minimalism, sine wave drones and what sounds like someone trying to dismantle a car without waking a baby in the next room, then some wibbly aged-sounding organ drones, but it's the very final section that's the most striking part here. The male and female voices return, talking as quietly as possible, just an unintelligible breathy mumble, their two voices meandering over one another unaccompanied save a dying keyboard, their mouth noises grotesquely, wetly amplified in order to make their hushed burblings audible. It's quiet and intense and is making me feel physically uncomfortable. It won't be everyone's cup of tea but this is powerful and strange stuff.


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