[Reviewed by stark]
It’s been almost twenty years since Jarboe’s split with Swans. Gira’s crew are living their second youth these last couple of years since reuniting while Jarboe is busy releasing a lot of new stuff both solo and with other artists. The well-known, like Neurosis or Justin Broadrick, but also with the ones I’ve never heard of, like Afraid or Nundata. I would be lying if I said that I’d heard all of her endeavors post-Swans, but those were of varying quality.
It seems that her cooperation with Father Murphy will be something more than a one-time event. They are a mysterious Italian avantgarde/noise-rock band, known for intense live performances. This is only a 10 inch vinyl containing two short songs, but they’re very promising, I tell you that. It’s not something that you’d expect by adding Jarboe’s vocal and lyrics to the instrumental compositions by the band.
Obviously, she’s worked like that with others before, but on this occasion it would be too simple to equate. Each of them wrote a song and then sent it to the other to complement it; the final result is pretty interesting: “The Ferryman” is something close to the avant-folk mixed with droning guitar. A trance-like acoustic loop is going hand in hand with the apocalyptic guitar and her vocals… half-whispering, half-reciting, calm but pulsating with hidden desperation.
“Truth or Consequences” is based on these contrasts. Where the solemn piano, organs and Jarboe’s heavenly singing are standing in opposition to the noise foundation generated by Father Murphy. The sound of both songs is so sharp that you can cut yourself on their edges. The press release says that the sound engineer is “using a technique he calls ‘anti-mastering’ whereby he irradiates the analogue master with deep, pure 432hz sounds in a process that somehow gives it the same benefits as defragmentation to a hard drive.” I don’t know anything about it but my subconscious tells me that this metaphor is rather accurate.
Currently Jarboe and Father Murphy are on a European Tour together, so I assume all this is a beginning of a beautiful friendship. I hope so, because this short release has left me with a hunger for more.