Quite a while ago, Philip Glass, to whom all post-modern praise be rendered, tried his hand at producing a bit of rock and roll, none of it to notable effect, genius though the man is. I mean Polyrock, one of his ventures, barely made a wrinkle in even the deepest troughs of the rock and roll slush pile, and Glass' handling of Pierce Turner brought nothing to the singer that wasn't already well established. Then there were other experiments, none of them connected to Phil—ensembles like Hugo Largo, the point of which I've never understood, and more besides. Thus, the serial experimental possibilities of rock, tricks and modes that might rightly be expected of the woolier fringes of the palace, were left to languish. Not so any more.
Cuddle Magic is a collective of 10 which practices mutant pop-rock-folk with a heavy slant from Steve Reichian netherlands. Everything in Info Nympho is a combination of cold wave, submerged neoclassical, oblique fantasy pop, and modern folk. Consider the lightly treated vocals in Moby Dickless with its Bugglesy/Krafterkian ambiance, not to mention the Lichtenstein pop art lyrics and cultural references within a rolling psychotic synaesthesia. Then there's the math rock influence, everything rhythmically decided according to repeating cycles and precise measurements, that Reich element that keeps displacing the quirky warmth the cuts can't help but contain in an oft-arctic wave front.
Various of the band members have worked with Ran Blake, Beyonce, Fred Frith, and Larkin Grimm, which should render a decent calibration of just how quirky and arty things can get, an expectation never disappointed as each song rises up, wending an arithmetically aberrated path that never gives itself away, strange apparitions ghosting in from all points, at times Robert Wyatty, then Comus-esque, Art Bears tumbling through the foyer, all in a surreal pop strain with chamber aspects, Marie Cardona drowning in lovely sub-luminally masochistic despondency. Don't come to this one with too many expectations because you'll just have to shed most of them—and happily so.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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