A Journal Of The Dark Arts
Unflesh is what it might sound like if Actress were to get together with the Swans side project, Body Lovers/Body Haters. It is a virtual journey through a body, as jagged beats meet wheezing automata.
The other sonic touchstone would be The Knife and Fever Ray. Elizabeth Bernholz works with a similar transhuman template, but the gaze is leveled this time at the human body, giving the feeling of being a stranger in yr own skin. It is an unsettling, but also a sensual experience, like the sadomasochistic conjurations of Hellraiser. Bernholz has such sights to show you.
The musical pallet is kept intentionally restrained, with bare pulses of machine beats, meeting antiquated LFOs, with Bernholz’s whispered incantations layered over with breathy exhalations.Those whispers occasionally become screeches and yowls, as on the album closer “Still Life”.The stripped down production is intentional, to better be able to reproduce live. Bernholz completely has her finger on the pulse of the electronic underground, and i suspect this will explode like a powder keg if people hear it.
Lyrically, there are plenty of intimations of the flesh, from the sanguine “I Feel Blood”, to the chillingly deadpan depiction of a miscarriage on “Premonition” – “No eyes, no fingers/I will find you sleeping on ice.”