Attrition — All Mine Enemys Whispers: The Story of Mary Ann Cotton
(Projekt 209, 2008, CD)
by K. Leimer, Published 2008-10-01There is a persistent case to be made for metaphoric musics deriving from literary sources, even as such practice now belongs more and more to the tattered remnants of the Romantic era. Dark ambient itself seems a category designation pointing not to the music, but to the attitude behind the music, making the distinction a fairly subjective one. This set clearly qualifies on those terms, as All mine enemys whispers (paranoia from Psalm 41:7) draws its inspiration from The Story of Mary Ann Cotton, one of England’s more prolific and profligate serial killers. Attrition is comprised of Martin Bowes, responsible for all electronics and the Sewing Box, and members of Stromkern, High Blue Star and Rasputina contributing violins and vocals. (First 1,000 copies include replicas of Victorian Era Poison Bottle Labels – amuse your friends!) The result is a moody atmospheric suspension decorated with sparse piano phrases, sparse violin phrases and some appropriately Lady June-like vocalizations, at turns hysteric or operatic. Given the subject matter, the music does the requisite accretive job, building up slowly like poison in the blood. But the “concept” here seems needlessly burdensome. Side-by-side comparisons with the work of Death Ambient, for example, play out favorably enough. Still, the aesthetic underpinnings of Death Ambient’s work are clearly preoccupied with music as music, while Attrition somehow means to weld a 21st Century aesthetic to some Victorian sensibility dwelling “inside the mind” of a serial killer. That’s asking a lot of a string of notes, sustenuto or not.
Related artist(s): Attrition
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Liberation. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more