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The new single clocks inat a mere 10 minutes, and contains two tracks. The first is of courseour first chance to hear Antony and the Johnsons, whose album isapparently being released through Dutro later in the spring."Cripple and the Starfish" is a wonderful track. I expected to spendthe entire time waiting for Current93's effort, but this held myattention absolutely, and I'll certainly be buying his full lengthalbum. The track is well structured, shifting between soft mournfulsections and emotional bursts underpinned by various instruments anddrums. Antony has a wonderful voice, one which can remarkably almosthold its ground with David Tibet himself. The track is sweet andpowerful, tinged both with despair and a sense of meaning.
Current 93's effort is entitled "Immortal Bird" and is evidently fromthe forthcoming album "Sleep Has His House". There is an immediatechange of atmosphere, as dark synths and Cashmore's instrumentationgive an ambience not dissimilar to the Island material, albeit a littleless electronic and well integrated with quietly strummed guitars. Thevocals open shortly after with "What drives us on? What drives us on?".Tibet then launches to a tragic and poignant verse, neither sung norspoken, in much the way that he employed his melancholic vocals on SoftBlack Stars.
The song is reminiscent of "Moonlight or Other Fields..." in that bothhave a short spoken-sung section culminating in a final line ofhalf-rhyme "and the gun, and the glory that was to come" (Moonlight...)/ "Your eyes wide, and shot through; With Sea blue" (Immortal Bird).
The lyrical section lasts only for the first two and a half minutes ofthe song, whereafter the melody plays on, gradually and subtly soundingmore enforced and more desperate. Initially I was a little disappointedthat the last four minutes of the song are all instrumental, but onrepeated listening I find this works very well; we are all left hangingto Tibet's last line while the music drags us along and away.
The holistic effect is very depressing, much more so than the track byAntony and the Johnsons. As with Soft Black Stars, the lyrics soundautobiographical ("I was nothing for you but the shadow of anotherlove" ) and at the same time surreal ("shift your skies to pasturesblue, streaked with passing and loss/ Moonlight sweeping over Northernbeaches where the trees are stripped silhouettes of memories") andmetaphor-laden ("in your vault of skin").
It is, in his own words, the sound of his own "particular fall". Andyet nevertheless David Tibet once again manages to evoke emotions,moods and meanings which are universal.