MARTIN BLADH: UMBIBLICAL CORDS
CD: Segerhuva SEGER 10 [2005]


Cord 1
Cord 2
Cord 3
Cord 4
Appendix: The Screaming Body

"Umbilical Cords" is the first solo outing by Martin Bladh, of Skin Area & IRM infamy, on the Swedish Segerhuva label. Fans of these groups will be salivating at the thoughts of what lies in store from one of their musical heroes. They will ponder and procrastinate endlessly until the moment arrives when they can hear from themselves the labour of love about to be delivered. Myself on the other hand couldn’t give a fuck. I never really got into either of those groups. I couldn’t / didn’t understand their modus operandi and their sound left me colder than a week long corpse laying undiscovered in waste land. It’s a personal thing I suppose. So being given this to review didn’t exactly fill me full of good cheer. Like…wow. But in the interests of fairness I banished all negative thoughts and preconceptions from my pea sized brain and took a neutral stance until I could deliver a judgement that was totally unbiased.

"Umbilical Cords" is a hybrid of experimental / drone / ambient soundscapes played out over four tracks which vary in length from 5 to 14 minutes in duration. There’s the over-riding prevailing sound of distortion and feedback produced from various instruments that subtly encapsulate the core of the recording. The music has a dream like quality to it but with the added bite of tension inducing waves that fracture the tranquil tones previously laid down. There are flourishes of cymbals clanging and oscillating whilst throbbing lines are twisted asunder as the waves of hypnotic drones play on. Just as you think you’ve heard it all Martin introduces squawking dirges into the mix which elicits a gratefully accepted surprise element into this work. And that’s just the first track. Sounding not unlike John Cale at his most avant-garde peak crossed with Moljebka Pulse the result is a thinking mans music for the 21st century.

"Umbilical Cords" won’t appeal to everyone’s taste but I actually enjoyed it and I appreciated the artist willing to take the risk of possible alienation by releasing music that some may find so difficult to define and comprehend.


ANM

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