David Eugene Edwards & Alexander Hacke
GLITTERHOUSE TWO MYSTICAL, MERCURIAL MAVERICKS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE
ASIDE FROM THE
obvious fact that this collaboration will send orgasmic ripples through leftfield and art rock circles everywhere, there is a certain charm and logic to the idea of David Eugene Edwards’ imperious voice finding a new home amid the freeform clatter of Alexander Hacke’s alma mater, Einstürzende Neubauten. As shrewd observers may have predicted, Risha offers no such prosaic meeting of styles. As the simmering, bubbling textures of Triptych weave their way into the foreground, the Wovenhand figurehead appears, disembodied, slathered in reverb and crooning with a hitherto unheard soulful restraint. Meanwhile, Alexander’s fractured backdrop of plucked acoustics and layered interference ebbs and flows around the singer’s resonant vowels and consonants like psychedelic tides on fast forward. It’s truly bewitching and quite unlike anything else you’ll hear this year… and we’re less than five minutes in. What follows, from the warped and wired krautrock of All In The Palm to Lily’s curious blend of claustrophobic electro-psych, lo-fi jangle and arena rock uplift, is spellbinding and profoundly disconcerting in equal measure. Even something as seemingly throwaway as the two-minute Kiowa 5 feels like some wild spectral dash through alien landscapes, replete with the rush of an oncoming storm and the hissing whine of what may well be bagpipes. David remains an ephemerally humane presence throughout, his spiritual preoccupations less readily graspable here, replaced by disquiet and a hint of the surreal. On the sleepy, harmonium hymn of Breathtaker, he sings in a genuine state of rapture. Again, bewitching.
Both musicians are audibly enjoying total freedom here. As much an exercise in conjuring entirely unprecedented atmospheres as it is an act of meticulous songcraft, Risha is designed for solitary listening, preferably in total darkness and, inevitably, with mortality casting its cruel shadow across your doorstep.
FOR FANS OF: WOVENHAND, SWANS, ULVER
Hacke & Edwards: art rock’sown Starsky & Hutch