I intentionally have not read a single word about this record before listening to it as I didn’t want any spiel to subconsciously tarnish or mould my listening experience. If it said it was about frogs playing snooker I’d be stuck with it in my head. I like to take this kind of stuff in on my own terms. I recommend you do the same. However if your brain has turned to jelly, read on and let uncle Ant take you by the hand.
It’s always a joy to get a new release from Gordon Sharp and company’s long term Cindytalk project. After seemingly vanishing off the face of the planet for fifteen years, their new material on Editions Mego seems to be getting stronger with each release. So many artists reach this stage in their career and things become stagnant and they sound like they’re just going through the motions. Cindytalk however keep progressing, moving forwards to the point that ‘A Life Is Everywhere’ just might be their finest release to date.
Opener ‘Time To Fall’ sounds like waking up with a foggy head after a night on the tiles, awoken by the ringing sound of an alarm clock and then being plunged into a huge vat of effervescent sonic hangover cure that fizzes and bubbles, refreshing and cleansing the mind with huge swells of aquatic sonics that eventually wash you up on the shores of some paradise island. ‘My Drift Is A Ghost’ has similar big washes of intricately textured liquid electronics (possibly manipulated field recordings) over which menacing bass bubbles and dark strings bring an elegiac quality. Give this some welly on the volume and you’re in for quite a ride.
After that intense rush ‘To a Dying Star’ oozes a really lost and lonely vibe and then around midway some drones enter the mix which have a celestial almost alien deep space quality to them and yet most of the sounds make me imagine microscopic deep sea creatures. Two separate worlds become linked. ‘Interruptum’ is a really spaced out number, with pretty chimes and twinkles dissolving into the ether. It sounds like a slow motion distant memory of a religious ceremony in a church not of this world.
‘As If We Had Once Been’ is a disorientating soundworld of dislocated rhythms and loops frantically battling against one another for supremacy and then some ghostly atmospherics casually swan in drowning the buggers out. Closer ‘On A Pure Plane’ is a thing of real beauty with complex chaotic electronics sounding like the inner workings of a mind on the absolute edge but are anchored by heavenly, heart wrenching strings. There’s tons of stuff about these days mixing these types of contemporary classical phrases with experimental electronics but this is the real deal. An absolute masterclass and a breathtaking closer to an album which effortlessly juxtaposes melancholy with euphoria. There’s an outstanding continuity to both the sound palette and sequencing of the tracks that really make this an album to be enjoyed in full. Not to be missed.