If you were to ask me, “Hey Jeff, should I pick up the new Madonna + Child tape?” I’d probably reply, “Well, that depends on how you feel about cats.”
Madonna + Child are a new electronic duo from Iceland, a pair of ladies who are doing their best to keep their true identities (and therefore their superheroine powers) under wraps. Our friends over at Lady Boy just released their debut, a six song tape of trippy beats and, well, cat sounds. Now, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the cat played as an instrument before (although it seems like something dj. flugvél og geimskip may have done), but the opening track “Kisulagið” is feline forward and includes a male voice occasionally saying “meow”, a weird yet appropriate touch. Needless to say, this generated a few raised eyebrows from our dog, but wasn’t enough to make him get up out of his bed.
That’s the only cat jam on the tape, and as near as I can tell there are no animal noises on the rest of All Around U, only slow beats and dreaminess. It wouldn’t be right to call Madonna + Child ambient – there’s too much beat and bass here; but they’re definitely out there in the spirit world, floating about with vocalizations that often flow under the surface. “Cutboy” represents the apex of their style, a soft, deliberate piece that creates an environment of mild anxiety – it’s not scary here per se, more perhaps unsettling. At least until towards the end when it turns into sheer terror for a few moments, jarring you awake and covered in sweat before it eases you back to dream land at the end.
As usual, this is available physically in a limited edition (of 50) cassette and/or as a digital download at the Lady Boy Bandcamp page HERE. As for me, I’ll be looking for Madonna + Child at Airwaves and will hopefully get to catch them perform live later this year.