CUTS - Ep1 [VINYL] - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab


by Brian Lange. Rating:9 Release Date:2014-09-01

They opened for Portishead and are on Geoff Barrow’s record label. Need you know more? EP1 is a fantastic EP of five tracks that, if nothing else, are a strong indication of what this new music has in store for us.

Now, despite the two Portishead references, it is important to realize that this does not sound like Portishead. Though the reference is an useful guide, I would consider this to be one of the most grandiose and haunting things I have heard in a long time. The cover art depicts a Chris Cunningham inspired image of a naked human clutching themselves for all they have left - a very astute representation of the overall feel of this EP. 

Track one, aptly named 'Cuts 01', starts you off with a resonating hum which increases until the 75-second-mark, when it quickly descends into a labyrinth of bass and echoed vocals which could not come from a darker place. Everything feels like it may be moving underwater, or in slow motion. 

Static noise fills up your cortex on 'Cuts 02', creating discomfort. This is then overlaid with a synthy organ sound and a muffled drum machine. This dichotomy of sound perhaps makes you feel as if you are looking to a distant landscape, hoping to survive in a future dystopian world. Similarly, 'Cuts 03' brings you further along this landscape, with the addition of a thinned female vocal. However, unlike before, there seems to be beauty in this barren wasteland. 

Not all of the music is as abrasive or noisy as the descriptions may make it sound. 'Cuts 04' is perhaps the most accessible track of the five, and I use 'accessible' very liberally. The grandiosity of this track can be likened to what it might be like if Mordor (of Lord of the Rings) was reimagined cross-bred with Jacob’s Ladder dreams and pure sorrow.

You can feel the emotion in these tracks. There is pain, but there is acceptance of this pain.  Whatever creatures are in this dystopian world have accepted their fate and now must struggle to survive, finding transcendent hope in the music which echoes across the world.

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