Imbogodom

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Out now via Thrill Jockey

Daniel Beban (Orchestra of Spheres, Slakes) and Alexander Tucker (Grumbling Fur, solo) are musicians of curious, and unique, character. Throughout both their discographies there is a sense that both carry into their work a certain ideology that comes to influence their work as much, if not more, than their own musical abilities and preferences. For the listener this means that their work together as Imbogodom retains a certain level of unpredictability. You just don’t know for certain what’s going to happen on Metafather when you press play.

The third, and final, part of Imbogodom’s trilogy of albums recorded at BBC Bush House, the former home of the corporation’s World Service, Metafather is certainly demonstrative of the duo’s varied interests. Small glints of Grumbling Fur’s glorious songsmithery mark the closest moments to the pair’s other projects, but predominantly this record is all about creating an atmosphere through sound. Listening to the record, you can imagine Bush House gradually crumbling away as Beban and Tucker sit locked in the basement, huddled over tape machines, at once oblivious and all too aware of the fate of their surroundings.

There’s a distinct analogue touch to proceedings, with each track feeling like it might just crackle into nothingness at any given moment. An air of slight uneasiness dominates, with the tracks that include vocals almost sounding as if they are being sung directly into your ear, as if Beban and Tucker have set up their gear behind you whilst you work at your desk, scurrying out of sight every time you turn around.

The feeling that most captivates, however, is that of the building itself. On ‘Soaked into Walls’ Tucker sings “Looking in, there’s a shape of your past, like a cloud in the night / checking doorways and lifts, sometimes they open”, and you can practically place yourself inside Bush House as the ambience of Imbogodom dies away, leaving you with nothing but a now quite creepy old building, devoid of life but not of history.

The story of decay of the natural world, of thoughts, feelings and peoples has been focused on many musicians, but the decay of a building is a less traversed path. It’s hard to imagine that notion sounding much more beautiful than it does on Metafather. 

 

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