Giant Claw: Mirror Guide (Orange Milk, 2021)

May 14, 2021 at 8:34 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Giant Claw: Mirror Guide

The follow-up to Giant Claw’s incredible Soft Channel is just as surreal yet less random, and more harmonic, more human, warmer. Far away from the juke rhythms and R&B samples of past work, Mirror Guide focuses on cello parts which wriggle, stutter, and clash melodically. On “Disworld”, the cellos dance around NTsKi’s vocals and gradually pile up and divebomb, and they crackle and splatter beside Tamar Kamin’s choral chants during “Until Mirror”. “Mirror Guide” is a two-part journey which seems to be gradually drilling away at a level of consciousness to get to a more enlightened state. It nearly breaks through after the first big push, and from there reality seems refracted and unknowable. Yet NTsKi’s vocals, while fragmented, seem confident and assuring, suggesting a duality (“You. And. Me… And. Me.”) as the music grows calming and cocoonlike. “Thousand Whys” is the album’s most forceful piece, with catapulting vocals, sorrowful strings, and electronic manipulations that straight up thwack at some points. This album may or may not be more approachable to listeners who thought Soft Channel was too dry. It’s just as challenging, and just as rewarding if you make the effort to get into it.

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