By: Martyn Coppack
The Cosmic Dead/Girl Sweat | bandcamp |
Released as a cassette only split, the limitations of playing the music on offer here may be slightly difficult unless you have the right hardware. When you do manage to hear it you will be greeted by a joint operation between Leeds based Girl Sweat and those imperial space lords The Cosmic Dead. It would be highly recommended to make said purchase of hardware as unless they do release these tracks in another format, you’re seriously going to miss out.
Breaking the split down into three songs for Girl Sweat and one long track for The Cosmic Dead, it’s the lo-fi garage rumblings of GS who get us started and there certainly isn’t any shirking away from the monolithic approach the other band take. Indeed, over the three tracks on offer from Girl Sweat, he takes you on a dark, dingy ride into a lo-fi dystopia built on thwarted garage rock and electronic bleeps. Like some Cronenberg nightmare, the music reaches for the inner evil in all of us and twists your mind into strange patterns.
Harmed with a Casio keyboard, some drum loops and a lap steel, the throbbing start of ‘Further Pluto’ introduces you to ‘Sweat’s’ basement of noise. Almost pulled together like a collage, sounds drift in and out although there is nothing ethereal about it. Instead it’s a murky descent into chaotic white noise with shards of twisted melody stabbing out now and again.
The journey Girl Sweat takes you on isn’t just mere preparation for what could possibly be seen as the main course either. There is an intelligence at work and the music forms layers of sound which feeds back in distorted time. It’s a dark kind of space rock but it’s space rock even so.
And so it’s left to the 22 minute offering from The Cosmic Dead to take you into the outer reaches of space and listeners of there other music will know just what to expect. More ambient than some of their riff monsters or dub fuelled epics, this is a soundscape which is built around keyboards and as such includes numerous spaced out moments as the electronica takes over. That said, it’s an organic beast and it’s timely throb reminds you of the ever beating heart behind this band.
By the time you reach the end you feel like you have been taken on a trip. As usual The Cosmic Dead have a knack of removing you from reality and leaving you feeling a little washed out and strung out. As the new age ending of whales (or at least that’s what it sounds like, we are in space after all) slowly brings you back down to earth, all that is left is to reflect on what an extraordinary piece of work this split is. Regardless of format, the music is impeccable.