Feel No Other is a duo composed of Brian Lea McKenzie (Electric Bird Noise - here) and Claudia Gregory (Exhaust the Fox, Claudia Versus Queen of the Hearts), a collaboration composing in the direction of German Expressionist, Avant-Cabaret, and Mannered Angst Grande modalities; that is to say: prog with artier ambiences than the movement is used to. Think of Pere Ubu gone classicalist, the Art Bears after meeting with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and October Project subsequent to a series of seminars on film soundtracking. McKenzie covers the instrumental side of things, drawing from American and vaultingly symphonic sources, while Gregory supplies the auteuristic encantations and solemn grandiosity (no credits are given, in fact NOTHING is supplied, everything mysterious, so it's hard to tell whether or not she wrote the lyrics, though I strongly suspect she did). Not that McKenzie doesn't do his part, and in spades, but she's as front and center as he; thus congrats to the sound engineer in keeping that balance well exemplified.
The dozen songs never flag from post-cinematic ambiences, fulsome and affective, prompting the listener to fantasias of emotive extrapolation always within the provenance of grandeur. One must suspect the baseline resides in McKenzie's work in soundscaping, scenarios oft vast and articulate, while Gregory draws down on the anthropocentric element, tempering the backgrounds from flying off into the heavens, enthralling them to illuminations rather than parsecs of space and Magellanic Cloudweaving. Were Weill to have turned Rosicrucian, had Brecht favored an Arthurian romantic milieu, they would've turned out material like this, caught halfway between despair and exhilaration. Le Faince de L'eau even injects a bit of Edith Piaf, and fans of Peter Hamill (Van der Graaf Generator) should rejoice in Feel No Other combining Pete's theatrical wont with blown-out atmospherics.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles