Review: Möström – We Speak Whale

Möström - We Speak WhaleWe Speak Whale is the place where the side-alley jazz club is scorched by the erratic zaps of a tesla coil, before the whole mess is immortalised as a thick gelatine of bass frequencies and phasers, and then tossed into a dumpster of old radios, hospital equipment and discarded orchestral instruments, where white noise echoes all the way down to the bottom. Because the creative reflex is softer and more pliable than most musicians would have you believe, and the train of thought can take sharper turns than you realise. Möström are not formless, but they are certainly boneless, boundless – willing and able to make their stylistic fingertips touch their stylistic toes, mutating from dirty electronic squelch (led by the rotary rhythm of clarinet) into the bleeping, rumbling apprehension of a nuclear meltdown felt from the control room, and then again into a pretty rainfall of piano and radio waves…all without a droplet of caution or doubt.

And yet there’s never a sense of sabotage. No member of Möström is trying to wedge a spanner amidst the creative flow. Transitions occur with the elegance of daily habit, and disparate species of instrument hold beautifully amicable conversations. I hear the likes of “KARLSPLATZ” (whining woodwind reeds, muddy synth loops, scurrying unidentifiable noise) and my mind pulls up images of the sewers. Darkness, slime – sounds that squelch and drip and dribble down walls, too strange and discordant to show their faces in daylight without frightening the timid likes of the general public. But is We Speak Whale the music of incubation, or uninhibited interaction? A deliberate rejection of the normal, or a fearless embrace of everything at once? I hear the conviction within the kinked organ tones of “EMOTICON” (the first of two spooky horror cuts that close out the album) and I feel no doubt that it is the latter: a delicious, gunky sandwich of sensory experience and colliding flavour contrasts, full to bursting with the fruits of intrepid handiwork.