Want some information on orchestral-drone outfit Several Wives? They come from the UK. That’s it, it’s all you need to know, because it doesn’t matter. Goldi Fell may be their second movement, and it may not. That doesn’t matter either. What matters is Several Wives have produced music that could not possibly have been conceived from within the confines of a stable human mind.
‘Introduction’ is thus – a deep rush as if being immersed in cloying, pitch black lake water. Choral noise rises, brooding, haunting. A slow throb begins, tidally rushes in and out, then fades into ‘Her On The Phone’ which clangs and rings with cymbals, an oriental lilt somehow engendered among groaning string noise and rushes of gong-like reverb. Yawning, glacially moving layers slide over and around each other, not fully emulsified but close. Dry woodwinds move dustily at a graceful plod through a barren field of mournful near-melody on ‘That Dream You Had’ whilst ‘Chamber Rode’ chirps and chitters with organic noise, squeaking like a cave full of vermin before being crushed under ponderous, stamping percussion and grating, blaring horns.
The title track is bright and gentle, like a more chaotic Godspeed You! Black Emperor, sparkling like light shifting and dappling leaves. ‘The Blinding Of Delilah’ eschews the usual steady egress as high shrieks zip around the periphery like hellish insects – frail, droning strings constant and hypnotic above the spasmodic rhythm, moving through changes at a near unnoticeable, evolutionary-scale pace. ‘That Other Dream You Had’ is frail and lonely, whispering, bleating but indistinct as if through water, surprisingly short compared to the rest of the more long form offerings presented here. Crescendo ‘Confession Ballad Five’ screams with string noise, thrown off kilter by touches of world music, extended instrumentation and percussion. Reeling and lurching like a concussed Western soundtrack, squealing with tortured noise, hounded by a deep and looping groove, it thankfully breaks into light, lingering motes.
Meticulously constructed, densely layered, this record is a kaleidoscopic magic eye picture – for the many who will experience ‘just noise’, some will see through to the other side to whatever purgatorial image may be lurking. This is the sound of an orchestra haunted by the ghosts of murdered acid trippers. Stripped of any trifling considerations of anything as meaningless as true rhythm, melody, or structure, this is music that seems impossible to have been orchestrated. And yet, it was. It is. It must be.
Goldi Fell is released on 26th July via Gizeh Records and can be purchased here.
Words: Jay Hampshire