All made up from Katie Gately’s huge libraries of field recordings, chopped, stretch and skewed into monstrous, and at times unsettling..what is this? Avant-pop? It’s heavy, but with bizarre catchy rhythms and vocal hooks, all layered to the verge of chaos. Sounds somewhere between Hidden by These New Puritans, some insane vocal processing from Holly Herndon, with big percussive slams of Zola Jesus.
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This is the same Katie Gately from that FatCat split series 12” with Tlaotlon that from what I remember (which isn’t much) was pretty great, a heavily processed vocal delight that twists and turns and pitch shifts into oblivion.
What I don’t remember is her music being quite as upfront and heavily beat-oriented as this. She’s dialed up the gain, taken the vocal pitchbends to their most extreme level, and assembled it all together in a graveyard with Cradle of Filth. Metaphorically speaking. It has a sort of industrial / metal feel to it, or at least as industrially crushing as people like Aisha Devi or Lakker but with more of a pop song structure buried under all the chaos. Prominent vocals abound, but with the dark and abrasive sonic context exists outside of pop. I don’t know what to call this.
Maybe it’s the sound of attrition - it was put on in the office near the end of the day last week, causing arguments to spring up left right and centre only to disappear abruptly when this was turned off. So really you’ve got to ask yourself if you want that. I think I prefer the slightly calmer, texturally softer moments such as ‘Rive’, but even then it sounds like Satan playing and singing into a giant broken organ. The production behind the vocals is excellent, but I think the vocals are slightly overwhelming at times. It’s good though.
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