"Old Age" elicits so many probing questions. What is the nature of God? Does euthanasia come equipped with a soundtrack? If you constantly mumble into your collar when you sing and you don't wash your shirt often enough, will you develop an unsightly rash on your lips?
You might not think that a recording that simulates the experience of awaking at noon on your rooftop—birds singing, Notre Dame bell tolling, gremlins forcibly separating your siding from the exterior of your home—would be a strangely satisfying listen. But you would be so wrong.
From what I've been able to discern, the Kubisch approach is to proceed from arctic-tundra whirr and escalate by degree into variably generative gnawing. Here she kneads Geiger-counter stipples, hospital-monitor bleeps, and minor-key wavelengths into a tense half-hour wraith that expands and contracts malevolently—convulsively bass-toned one minute, pregnant with Satanic insect seethe the next, never static despite the static strewn everywhere like ill omens.
"Manali" bounces and jerks like a jury-rigged chassis, all strained-hinge squeal and spooked-mare neigh and quick-step beats. It's like your face is the melody and your skull is the rhythm, and Dang keeps trying to yank your skull through your face, except that somehow it doesn't hurt.
Think a special Intervention-themed remix of "Maps" wherein Bjork subs for Karen O, and you're pretty much there. The take-away: If you're going to lie to a friend about whether or not you've fallen off the wagon, knock back a few vodka shots for courage first.
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