I admit, willfully, that this is another artist in whom I became interested because it sounded cool. Black Forest, Black Sea? That's awesome. While this approach to music collecting sometimes ends in calamity, this time it was a strange and pleasant surprise. I understand this group to be a cello, a guitar, and a fair amount of electronic and analog noodling being used to create some extremely beautiful and haunting songs. They put out another record a while back, self-titled, which was interesting but not nearly so much as this one. There is more electronic manipulation here, and the songs seem to be more varied and inspired. Several of the tracks, and not these the least good, were recorded live, while others carry the sweet scent of postproduction. I won't hazard to categorize the music - doubtless it is listed under several headings where people try to do so - but I recommend it to people who enjoy things like Rachel's and Dirty Three, that kind of experimental chamber music, but with more of a twist here.
Opener "Orion" seems rightly to be the soundtrack to a black starscape: a meandering, shimmering guitar overlapping with voice and noise ebbing, flowing, and vibrating with the turn of a flanger frequency knob. "Nylon2" (Nylon1 comes later, of course) sounds like a Charalambides tweener track, a simple guitar melody travelling and elaborating upon itself, with some kind of incredibly distant organ backup. "These Things" is one of my favorite tracks on the album - stoppy electronic warbling presages the entrance of a fiercely processed piano or harp, distorted and dischordant. Miriam Goldberg's whispery voice cuts in suddenly, clearer than day, and the electronic noises harmonize and wander. God knows what they did to the instruments to make them sound the way they do on this track, but it's brilliant and haunting. "...with a dead man I've never met" is a wonderful but strange track. A mesmerizing guitar wobbles in the background while the cello cuts harshly across it. Distortion and noise begins to be added to the cello and it starts sounding like no instrument I've ever heard - a crunchy jackhammer wail is the best thing I can come up with to describe it, but it grabs you and doesn't let go in any case. Other tracks capture the more creepy, ambient aspect of the band - "F vs BF/BS" sounds like a "battle" with tourmates Fursaxa (distant cousin to Fuxa?) , while some show their formidable improvisational skill in some of the live tracks, recorded at shows at which I can only wish I was present.
The record is at any rate worth a check if any of this sounds interesting. Their self-titled debut is probably more accessible but I think not nearly as good. It's more organic and less terrifying, but lacks any of the big glorious moments this record is chock full of. Here's a sample track from Forcefields and Constellations - "These Things"