Circuit Des Yeux - Reaching For Indigo

by Jeff Penczak Rating:4 Release Date:2017-10-20
Circuit Des Yeux - Reaching For Indigo
Circuit Des Yeux - Reaching For Indigo

Every once in a while a vocalist comes along that sets the usually staid music community aflutter. Think of Boy George, Diamanda Galas, Klaus Nomi, and Nina Hagen. (Or, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Don Van Vliet or Roger Chapman.) Well, listening to Reaching For Indigo (e.g., ‘Paper Bag’) is like listening to Steven Reich’s minimalist sound loops with vocals. And that vocalist sounds like Joan Armatrading impersonating Antony Hegarty without his Johnsons. But I’ll say one thing for Circ (or Jackie Lynn or Haley Fohr, or whatever she’s calling herself this week), she’s gotten people to put down their iPhones and listen up. Whether the sounds they hear will intrigue, infuriate, or induce combustible guffaws (“This must be a put-on, right?), she’s at least got their attention for a few minutes. Now it’s up to her to move past the “first impressions” and put up or shut up. Your mileage will certainly vary, but she’s about seven albums into a decade-long career that began with 2008’s experimental room-clearer Sirenum and just featured her performing Nico’s Chelsea Girl live in its entirety. Eclectic, to say the least…and not going away anytime soon.

     The Chelsea Girl gig is appropriate, as there is an ominous, Gothic atmosphere hovering over Reaching For Indigo that reflects Nico’s atmospherically stark, drone-dominated harmonium period, from say The Marble Index through Desertshore to The End. The squeaky, Theremin-like electronics and buzzing fly sound effects dominating ‘Black Fly’ reinforce the comparisons. This is haunting, experimental, antagonistic music that is certainly not for the faint of heart.

     I’m glad Fohr switched gears for the eerie, piano-driven ‘Philo’, as it eases the nerves long enough for Fohr to tap in to her Nicoesque persona, albeit supplemented with Galas-like operatic flights of ecstasy, particularly in the extended pants-shitting coda that makes Yoko Ono’s caterwauling sound like a choir of angels. However, the fuzzy, dirtyass rock and roll of ‘A Story Of This World Part II’ also seems halfbaked and another excuse to irritate the masses with earpiercing shrieks that seem birthed out of John Lennon’s old primal scream therapy period. And the 26 second ’Call Sign E8’ is completely unbaked filler.

     It doesn’t get any better or interesting from here, so unless you’re feeling masochistic and enjoy being screamed at for half an hour, give this one a passerino.

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