[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
I have come to realize something about Ralph Cumber’s project Some Truths: there are no limits. Nothing is out of bounds and song structure is more a concept than constraint. If this newest record doesn’t hammer that home to you, nothing will. With four cassette releases under his belt which when combined form what can only be viewed as a paean to disconnection from everyday life, it begged the question: where does he go now? When you’ve exhaustively mapped out your own renouncement of established reality, what do you do next. This record is an answer of sorts, not completely, mind you. But it is an interesting response to the expectations people no doubt had about what this entity could be.
Instead of teasing madness out of his machines, our composer roots them in order. Well, as orderly as Some Truths get. Even though there’s a form of songwriting going on here it isn’t going to wind up on the X Factor, believe me. He has opted to turn his attention to the stars above us, about all I can advise is that you not be in a hurry to get where you’re going on this voyage. The trip getting there is going to be far more engaging, and how you emerge at this journey’s end is entirely dependent upon your own mental fortitude. These compositions have an unnerving tendency to just change pitch and direction completely not even halfway into them.
Don’t like surprises? Don’t listen. Just put this down and investigate his latest EP as Bass Clef. Perhaps that might not throw you off balance quite so much as it is more linear. I’m firmly convinced that Some Truths fashion what they do out of the unconscious mind, a trance state is effortlessly achieved when listening to this (hence why it isn’t playing while I scrawl this down). I’d never be able to complete this review in any kind of coherent fashion and the narrative would be completely lost.
There’s a lot of talk these days about the nature of the underground with regard to how it can continue to endure under the constant assault and outright theft it is subject to from the rapacious vultures who make up popular culture…
To this I say, disregard that sugary trash and get your ears attuned to this. The baying, howling hyenas who foist off their formulaic crutches as inspiration cannot compare to the genuine artistry that I have had the privilege to spend these last couple of weeks immersing myself in. Even the name of this one exudes malice and staggering levels of hostility. Just because he didn’t include a comma in the title doesn’t take away from what he’s saying. These are the creations which made it, the rest are still out there… somewhere in the void between completion and conception. It begs the question, where does that spark of imagination first appear?
These seven entries may help sort that out for us.
Some Truths – Some Friends I Lost to Bedlam Others I Abandoned There
Mordant Music, MM068