cosey fanni tutti : tutti [conspiracy international]
for many years much of experimental electronica has left me cold. post the empty quarter days very few titles have truly fired my belly, original works being a very rare thing. coil and pan sonic always offered base-level genius and i’d also include the likes of cindytalk, lagowski and peter hope on the list and more recently salford electronics and wrangler being able to provide that little extra zing to their earworms. of course this statement is ultimately throwaway as the number of artists who wow me in moments are thankfully plentiful. immeasurable in fact. i guess what i’m trying to put across is that electronic music is not the ‘be all and end all’ for me. many artists use guitars and strings in ways which mirror complex electronics, robert hampson being a prime example. his solo and work as main are a colossus of guitar manipulation weaving the most magnificent textures. i’m long tired of sticking to one palette and am just as likely to be listening to fleetwood mac these days it seems! and then came tutti. a record which has quite literally rendered me speechless. since its release a few weeks ago i have tried and failed on numerous occasions to pull the words from my old flesh which might in some little way express just how wonderful these recordings are and make me feel. i am somehow in awe of tutti. in reality i am in awe of cosey. i have in the past felt both her wrath and her humbling kindness (thankfully, more of the latter!) and it has been pleasing to see her at last receive so much attention and accolades for her outstanding work. throbbing gristle played a big part in mfteq’s infancy. the initial re-releases by the grey area of mute came about at the same time and by promoting those cemented a following for the magazine. tg’s albums although very rarely played now are inked into my psyche as are chris and cosey’s various guises which naturally should be included in the list above. so here, after all this rambling is tutti, the title track, both in front of and surrounding me now. again spinning. cosey’s cornet immaculate, calling triumphant. shielding an ever-growing, breathing expanse of sequential, rhythmic forms. intense and intoxicating drone gathers, beneath its mass a sea of voices shudder until they shatter through moe’s tribal dance with ungodly language. an immense tonal sculpture, its form breaking into the frenzied, reactionary sophie’s ripple. harsh, aggressive, lashing. an almost monotonous scale subduing to silence. a slight pause. release and then recoil. split is hallucinatory. requiring more process of thought, constantly shifting from shallow paths but again ends in open-eyed wake. heliy resumes. buried darkness exuding light through cosey’s soft, sweet sedating voice. a lulling push into the crawlspace of en. an abstraction of deeply sinister, crush and foreboding endured before orenda opens, flowers and gently bristles. illuminating, freeing yet leaving a sense of longing through its serenity. a journey ‘as one’ but not at end. these eight soundscapes were originally conceived and performed as the soundtrack for cosey’s autobiographical film harmonic coumaction for hull’s city of culture 2017. here i’m merely engaging with the sound, providing my own visual stimulus as sadly did not witness the film nor later exhibition at the cabinet. but importantly these recordings do stand alone, proudly, clearly personal and perhaps why i’ve found it so hard to write about them from just my own perspective. i hope this real-time relaying of feeling communicates the energy, positivity, the immense joy and pleasure i’m constantly finding in response to this work. tutti’s sense of belonging is its major key. cosey has created an album which already sits aloft with my love of neu! as i see this album as more influenced by kraut than present-day electronic(a). that’s once again a personal opinion, from this very personal review which may or may not be relevant to you? i will end by saying i doubt very much anyone will hear a more all-consuming, powerful and overwhelming electronic or ‘other’ record this year or even from within this decade. i adore.
available now on vinyl. cd and dl