Michael Beharie & Teddy Rankin-Parker: A Heart From Your Shadow (Mondoj, 2018)

July 1, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Michael Beharie & Teddy Rankin-Parker: A Heart From Your Shadow

The first collaborative album by Michael Beharie (of Zs) and cellist Teddy Rankin-Parker is a dense yet concise expression of fear, astonishment, abject terror, and a bit of offbeat humor. None of the tracks sound alike. There’s intense sound design and glitching alongside furious cello bowing during standout “Paper Tiger”, which ends up unexpectedly calm. The intro track begins nakedly calm before plunging into sheer panic, with police sirens wailing through pitch-black cello noise. The acoustic, percussive “So Much Trash” ends with a computer voice imitating an old woman, thanking someone for cleaning up the trash in her yard. “Gully” is all clanking percussion, recalling Konono No. 1 as much as the rhythm track from one of M.I.A.’s early singles. The police sirens return during “Smooth Face”, surrounded by swooping strings and percussive splatter. “Roses” is the album’s intense centerpiece, surrounding spiraling prog-rock/Berlin school melodies with swarms of crushing distortion. “Icon” is even harsher and more hellbound, especially considering the two calmer interludes surrounding it. Excellent album.

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