Sunday, 18 March 2012

Manorexia With J. G. Thirwell

It's been a very musical kind of day, which in one sense is nothing new, but I rarely spend so much time foraging and listening as I have since mid-morning - yes, that long, but not without breaks, of course, to do things such as keep an eye on the Chelsea game and fall off my chair when Torres scored...then fall again when he repeated the miracle.

It's been a Manorexic kind of day, by which I mean I've been listening to J.G.Thirwell's project, Manorexia, not starving myself due to body image problems, although I have musical bulimic tendencies, it's true. It's under control though, honest. I suspect, in this era, many music-lovers binge on files before throwing them up (deleting) again. A friend recently tipped me off to Manorexia's forthcoming gig at the Union Chapel here in Swinging London (TM). I'd never even heard the name, although I had heard of Thirwell and even owned a Foetus record once upon a time. So I started hunting and now have all four albums. Yes, by that you'll gather I liked what I found. The sound evolves from the relatively straightforward moody ambience of Volvox Turbo to the more complex electro-orchestral manoeuvres on Dinoflagellate Blooms. The latest, from 2010, is The Mesopelagic Waters, which reworks tracks from the first two albums using only a chamber orchestra. Despite the differences musical themes are constant; the noirish feel runs throughout, from Barry Adamson-style soundtracking to tension in an electronic mode - all well and damned good in my book. At his best (and there's nothing that isn't good here) he sounds like a holy alliance between Bernard Herrmann, Haxan Cloak and Demdike Stare, maybe. It may not have been a creative day, but it certainly wasn't wasted.

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