Somnambule - Writing About Music

13 And God

13 And God: the moniker masks the gentle meshing of two groups notable for their creatively musical, trans-genre endeavours. Raise that mask and Markus and Micha from The Notwist and doseone, Jel and Dax Pierson aka Themselves (doseone being the highest profile of the latter for his part in the innovative triumvirate that was once cLOUDDEAD). The meeting’s attributed to a co-tour coach breakdown outside Toronto: such is the accidental music of chance and here’s its result.

13 And God begins in Tom Waits-ian church confessional mode. “I mean I know that people die” (whispered by a distant woman against a gentle rush of noise). When the beats kick in, so too does doseone’s familiarly nasal voice. That voice you could spot a mile off. Everything about the music’s smudged and scratched – it sounds like somebody’s method of creating a sonic patina is scratching wire wool in circular motion on a sheet of stainless steel. When that sound fades, it’s a relief, no mistake. There’s mournful melodies on a wind section echoed by a barnacle-ridden piano (?). Low Heaven proves to be a rather lovely and richly varied opener. What follows does so in like patterns: Men Of Station follows with more loveliness: whirring strings, plucked guitar, Dr Rhythm percussion track, intimate vocals. Ghostwork is all emphatic, skipping beats shadowed by the patter of tablas, ruminative murmurs and backward tones. The affair ends in silvered notes, the tune becoming a ghost of itself.

The initial impression of the whole affair is low-key, but familiarity – in inverse proportion to the old saying regarding acquaintance and contempt – here breeds affection and an appreciation of the gentle, bordering upon tender, touch of the music.
Colin Buttimer
June 2005
Published by milkfactory