Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Day 117: Exotic fruits.

This is a weird one which would be more at home on another album I feel but it's pretty damn good either way.

Song: Dktr Faustus
Album: Bend Sinister
Year: 1986

The more this track drags on, the more demented it becomes. It starts with Mark singing his lines through either a megaphone or phone line, which is reminiscent of the delivery the avant-garde band Coil adopt quite a lot. the dual-recorded and slightly ropey guitar gives it a folky edge and the vocals, clashing with Brix's all the way through give it an unhinged feel too. The lyrics seem to be based loosely on temptation, which of course is the theme of the play of the same name, or to give it the traditional name the The Tragicall History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus which was written by Cristopher Marlowe, based on the ancient tale/legend of Faust, who sold his soul to the devil for knowledge and power. This would explain all the references to fruit throughout, the fruit being knowledge and representing temptation, which in turn also points back to the fall (oof!) of man when Eve was offered the apple by the snake in the garden of Eden. Who'da thunk The Fall could go biblical? Well they did.

The music on display here is of real note, the start is rather minimal, but it is deeply layered as it progresses, going through a repetitive loop as most Fall tunes did at the time, but with experimental edges in there too. The constant twinkle and scattering of high pitched notes suggest multiple tracks that the musicians may have been encouraged to improvise on and Brix's detatched and unhinged vocals also add to this. It is eccentric in the extreme and could be quite a challenging listen, even for the most commited fan, myself included. The parts where Brix, Mark and even another vocal track or two from Mark are blended together, singing in a cacophonous choir of sorts which sounds ghostly and mocking. You can almost imagine this being performed with medieval masks and lots of naked flame, shapes dancing all over the place. Wouldn't want to listen to this track on a bad trip, the screaming of the word BANANA would probably send me over the edge. If that doesn't, the stylophone would.

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