Review: Andreas Brandal + Continental Fruit – S/T

These electronics are clogged sinuses in winter. Throbs and bloated tinnitus hums, clogging the free-flow of thought. Gelatinous and unstable, pressing inward against my head. Amidst all this, a voice mumbles through the veil of an overdosed medicinal recovery. I only catch the occasional word, and coupled with the dry, delirious sing-song of the delivery, I fall between interpreting them as romantic woo and complaints at the unrelenting state of quiet discomfort and karmic mistreatment. Perhaps both? A love letter written in phonic smears of resignation and cyclic disappointment? I can’t concentrate enough to decide. The more I try to lean in, the harder those strange electronics push back against me. Because as well as being draped in swathes of goose-pimpled human skin, this collaboration also glimmers with feverish hallucinations: luminescent purples and neons, laser gun spurts, spiralling planetary curves.

Take “Something (The Gaze Of Miracles)” – a mysterious, pattering ode to the promises that reside just beyond the fingertips, driven by synthesiser melodies that tumble like daydreams and words that loyally follow them, surrounded by the faint clatters of the world outside. “Oh My Soul…” tries to force acoustic guitar strums up through a shimmering atmospheric barrier of bristling drones (once again, misery curbed by insidious fantasy), while “Clown Shadow” shoots for harmonium dirge and slumps down into drawling, yet somewhat beautiful murmurs of scrunched chords, all of which appears to be knocking against stacks of abandoned kitchenware as it writhes upon the floor. What becomes clear with repeated listens is that both collaborators struck upon a common sentiment here, and one that seeps through the margins of traditional language and pools in the basin of sonic abstraction: uncomfortable and unclear, miserable and strangely romantic, otherworldly and viscerally familiar.