dawn mccarthy & bonny billy – wai notes

part two

i had to double-take when i first listened to this. honestly. i’ve never heard anything so horrific actually sung or perhaps even spoken. if i had a problem with the prodigy and the shadier sides of frank ocean, how the hell can i justify still liking will oldham after he’s uttered such offence (which i refuse to reproduce here)?

this is an insightful exercise in music. the first song, a rendition of then the letting go in which the lyric appears, sounds like it’s being played under water, instead of standing in it as i described last night. in fact, the whole album sounds like that. by the end you feel the need to stick your little fingers in your ears to try clearing the apparent tinnitus-like blockages.

there is still a voyeuristic pleasure in listening. it feels again like i’m sitting in a corner as they’re playing; ambient sounds of rain, wind, hums; they don’t know i’m there. but there’s little variation, and that’s what makes this little more than the exercise.

the packaging is the simplest there is, essentially a folded piece of cardboard, slightly embossed with what appears to be an actual photograph on the back (think gloss paper, developer fluid). it’s the only thing in the collection where you hear the practice for something more final. and for that it’s simply fascinating. but i think the cover cost more than it was worth.

also, the howling startled the cats. they won’t sleep now.

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