Locrian & Mamiffer, Bless Them That Curse You 2xLP

One of the most eagerly anticipated albums of 2012 is nearly upon us, and for those of you who are indeed anxiously pacing the streets wondering when this album will drop... you are in for a treat.

It would be easy to say that if you're familiar with Seattle's ambient/experimental duo Mamiffer (Faith Coloccia and husband Aaron Turner of Isis, House of Low Culture, Jodis, and others) and our friends in Chicago's Locrian, then you will know what to expect. To say that would be easy, and extraordinarily lazy. One listen to this record reveals that this album is much more than the sum of its parts. While the sounds of the respective bands are in a sense "combined" for this album, titled Bless Them That Curse You, that is merely a superficial description, and tells nary a portion of the story.

Thinking about this conceptually before actually hearing it, one may even be tempted to say that these bands may not be suited to collaborate. Mamiffer's hypnotic and majestically beautiful creations, most of which are piano-based, indeed presents an interesting juxtaposition to the distorted, guitar-driven metallic drones that characterizes much of Locrian's work. But the fact is that these two bands have drawn each other into previously unexplored territory, and their work meshes better than anyone could have imagined.

There is a lot of tension on this album, and at the same time quite a bit of letting go. The first track, "In Fulminic Blaze" exemplifies this, as the bands create a wash of lush, textured ambiance, only to crash into a rhythmic and rather scathing, bombastic assault of the senses. The swirling layers of sound will grab you, envelope you, and finally accompany you on a journey through all that these bands have to offer: the serene, the horrific, the majestic and the caustic.

You'll also witness this in the vocal approaches. While vocals don't grace this album until the last track, they more than make up for their absence from the rest of the record. Faith Coloccia's wondrous, enchanting voice ushers us into a world that comes apart when Aaron Turner's growls break in. Coloccia's voice is as beautiful as ever, and Aaron Turner sounds better than he ever did with Isis (which is saying quite a lot). These disparate approaches to singing are the perfect compliments to what what would be an outrageous good song even if it were instrumental, the guitars churning, building, and finally carrying in the grandiose drums that allow the album to come to a close.

... an amazing journey it is.

As you can see in the three above pictures (which are being seen for the first time here), the packaging for this double-LP is also an ambitious and gorgeous undertaking. The deluxe fold-out cover for the vinyl was designed by Faith Coloccia herself, and provides a more-than-worthy container for the visionary sounds contained within the grooves. The double-LP, limited to 550 copies, with hand-stamped labels, is a co-release between Sige Records and Utech Records, with a release date of February 21st. Profound Lore will handle the CD release, while Sige and Locrian's Land of Decay will release the cassette version.

Keep your eyes open for preorders - you won't want to miss this.

1 comment:

Jolocho said...

Now I have even more need of this album. Goddamn! Good words.