Capra Informis - Womb of the Wild

by Rob Taylor Rating:10 Release Date:2015-10-16

The unnamed djembe player from Goat, the Swedish experimental fusion group, next week releases an EP Womb of the Wild under the name Capra Informis. The latin translates as ‘deformed or hideous she-goat’, a roguish spin on the principal’s construct. 

A Ddembe is a skin-covered goblet drum or tablah used predominantly in African and Middle Eastern music, but commonly heard in western fusion music. Its rawhide is sometimes made from goat skin, stimulating more random mythical and animalistic association. The word djembe is loosely translated as ‘gathering in peace’, and the sound of the djembe, played in a certain way, has a soothing or pacifying effect.

Womb of the Wild begins with 'Darkness, You Fire', the unnerving rattle of bones prelude to a low keyboard drone. The latter emulates a sitar sound, or a muted bagpipe hum. The tribal rhythms played moderato by the djembe player, and the incantations of a male choir join for what could easily be a dark ceremony, one of a secular nature. 

'Womb of the Wild' increases the tempo significantly, the djembe counterpoised with surf-rock style chords, unusually filtered through an eastern kaleidoscope. Midway through 'Womb of the Wild', an oddball segue abruptly appears, a percussive descending chord which quickly reintroduces the main theme, but this time joined by the ignoble chants of a male choir.  

‘Cold and High’ is the crown jewel of the EP. Ennio Morricone’s ‘L’Arena’ from Il Mercenario was put to great use in the film Kill Bill 2. 'L'Arena' was a tranquil but frigid coda insinuating murderous intent, the literal calm before a catastrophic event. Likewise ‘Cold and High’ manages to arouse an uneasy calm you sense cannot last. A showdown filmed in the wilds of Korpilombolo, Northern Sweden. The same basic musical template, but with the djembe producing a deep bass sound, and the synth playing mournfully. The chanting this time intones a deathly ritual. 

The primitive drumming of ‘Enter Thaumiel’ demonstrates yet more versatility in the chief instrument used by Capra Informis. 

Goat, in its many forms, continues to mesmerise. Essential. 

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