Dec 8, 2016

Spiral (2016)


Resists (masculine?) noise tropes of screaming out sweet catharsis, Puce Mary builds atmospheres which are always on the brink of collapsing but never really do. The human voice is relatively soft and spoken, concerned with the way it appears to the listener while it reflects on the burden of the female body, but it's subsumed into the machine which feeds it back out in processed agony. There is no release, only tension and unease. Live she stands in front of the machine as it breaks free from control and overwhelms her- her role is to bring it back. Over the course of an hour she comes to understand it and then redirects its anger in a direction where she can become one with it, leaving the audience cowering and fearful. The Spiral tells a similar story but in song fragments and mini-atmospheres which bleed into each other. Its secret lies in the fact that it approaches the chaos/harmony machine/human dichotomies from the side of understanding and reconciliation rather than transcendence or rejection- its appeal is the terror and beauty that comes through restraint rather than domination.

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