Review: Marlo Eggplant – Callosity

a3385270489_16The interference on Callosity is so prevalent that it becomes a presence in itself. It’s not a characteristic of the medium that disrupts the connection between me and the music, but a blanket thick enough to touch, wrapped and inextricably sewn into the fabric of her instruments. As it muffles her scraps of creative happening – softening the edges of guitar loops, sanding down the serration of clumped static, reducing voices to vague murmurs hummed through cotton – I start to wonder whether its primary role is actually to blot out the world outside (and me by extension), protecting her alcove of introspection from the violent inclinations of a politically, environmentally irrational planet. The blizzard is her house, and I can just about identify shapes moving around through a frosted window.

And just how the noise is less a facet of fidelity and more of an artistic tool, the music within treats conscious actions and accidents with equal esteem. Looping is used to claim ownership of those noises that dribble through the seam between intention and action, repeating rumbles of malfunctioned vocal processing or guitar resonance until they become adamant celebrations of their own cracks and jagged edges. Tracks like “Incident” reduce to growls of empty breath (Sleeping lions? Degraded EVP cassettes?), at which point the greyscale of the surrounding noise starts to blur within the monochromatic hush of her musical activity. While I initially perceive Callosity as a rejection of Marlo Eggplant’s environment, I start to wonder whether this acceptance of unintentional sound is a way of priming the artist for her eventual re-emergence into the world – a way of embracing the uncontrollable forces of the universe and using them as the fuel for personal progress.