OM COLD BLOOD imagines a watery world, ruled by digestion. The body is leaky, evolved from water, standing on earth, destined for the dirt. The earth is porous, plastic its awful lubricant. The ocean is a lachrymal vase. The garden is erotic, cheap therapy for human hands and errant arms.
released November 24, 2018
Recorded in Brussels, Belgium in 2018
Thanks to Ghislain Amar, Astrid Corsini, Céline Gillain, Will Holder & Martin Meert
Texts by Bitsy Knox
Sounds by Roger 3000
Mixed by Bitsy Knox & Roger 3000
Mastered by Frederic Alstadt
Tanuki Records #33
Byron Coley, The Wire
“. . . Much of the story seems to deal with a dystopian near future in which the seas are even more choked with plastic, and interspecies sex is more matter of face than it is today. Knox has a great reading voice and her vision is intriguing. There are also parts she sings, evoking the shadow of a non-robot Laurie Anderson. The music, meanwhile, offers quiet accompaniment, drifting between keys and environmental sounds and guitar and various other things with gentle grace.”
Lost in a Sea of Sound, Jan 8 2019
“Thoughts are decomposing. Written worlds falling apart, a trail of single letters spinning to the curb as the engine rattles asunder. Thesaurus becoming some mechanical guru, an oracle to cease repeating and keep repeating. With increasing age and depleting energy, fashioning coherency is an augmenting gradient to traverse. Om Cold Blood causes the pitch to tilt steeply up, as secure mental footing becomes scarce. It is very difficult to describe poetry, freely flowing and without boundaries, especially when added into a constantly resonating mix of experimental, ambient, punk noise. Bitsy Knox thoughts pierce the monotonous frame work, exposing the erector set life is built upon, an abundance of flimsy connections and extremely poor planning.
Om Cold Blood is an explosion of ideas and musing, spoken in globules of shrapnel. Poignant understandings exposing patterns and thoughts held in reveries of seclusion. The entire time, beautiful harmonies trying intently to pull canticles forth, like perfectly laying stones for songs to step across. Roger 3000 is keenly adept at creating this ambient fluidity, but drawn out words stay perched with lengthy legs straddled in more spoken word than song. Eventually Bitsy can not resist and on the third track titled “Om over you / Walking”, her words begin tentatively being sung. The music on Om Cold Blood is hypnotically vexing. So much so it is worth exploring more of Roger 3000’s sounds. Together, these two artists are perfectly balanced, poetry and music, holding the door open for each other. . .”
A very enjoyable set, somewhat outside my normal ambit. Three works with text spoken/sung by Knox, music provided by Roger 3000 (Julien Meert). The texts read pretty much as poems, Knox rendering them so that the teeter on the edge of music, occasionally going over that line. ‘Om Digestion’ begins with an etymology of “decant”, traveling into gustatory realms and into the pervasiveness of plastic in the ocean, in fish and into our digestive systems. The words are always intriguing, blending mundane observations with dreamy ones, Knox’ speech doing the same tonally. I pick up hints, in the drawn out syllables, mordancy and matter-of-fact hipness, of Annette Peacock, the words maybe a suggestion of Nicole Blackman (though I’m far, far less knowledgeable in that area). Meert accompanies with gentle, folkish guitar, then flute and tablas; think Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Knox will sometimes pick up on the musicality of a certain phrase and run with it, like “errant arms” at the end of this piece. The title track hazily evokes Kevin Costner and drain-clogging hair before entering a small maelstrom of whirring, echoey metallics, then surfacing for a declaration of intent to live beneath the sea. ‘Om over you/Walking’ might be my favorite here, more overtly song-oriented, Knox speak-singing about hair after death and its uses. The song’s second half is especially moving, the delicate guitar and soft chorus underneath Knox’ repeated, melancholic/purposeful iteration of the word, “walking” which I was hearing off and on as “one cake”, somehow also very stirring. Very good work, looking forward to hearing more.