Saturday, 28 March 2015

MUSIC FOR CATGIRL LOVERS 06


Band: BONEMACHINE
Title: Music For Catgirl Lovers 06
Format: A CDr release on the Catgirl Records label (Germany), issued on 24 March 2012, cat ref PUSSYCAT.#006.  The release comes with three picture inserts and two large front and rear colour covers, plus part #6 of a 24-part jigsaw puzzle (one part in each of Catgirl's 24 releases in this series), all housed in a transparent A4 plastic bag/sleeve.  The CDr disc has a hand drawn pattern on it, though it is currently unknown if the design differs between discs.  Hugin's contribution was recorded at W.A.R. Studios in February 2012.
Edition: Hand-numbered to 20 copies only

Track Listing:
01. Catgirl & Kaelteeinbruch  *  'I Am Watching You - My Message For You'  6:34  
02. Bonemachine  *  'The Future... ...Kill Me'  18:12  

Not to be confused with Music For Catgirl Lovers 03 which featured back in June 2010, this instalment in the ongoing Catgirl series is number 06 and comes with its own curious inserts and alarming music content!

This certainly comes as a very different listening experience from the recent glut of new Uruk Hai material that has featured in Honour and Darkness over the past weeks. Although being released almost exactly 3 years ago, Nazgul had been storing this one in a dark cupboard under lock and key waiting for a good chance to air its contents and put a long overdue Bonemachine entry back on his Blog.  The time was right, the mood was right ... so here we go!

Firstly, let's consider the packaging.  As we saw with the previous Catgirl Records release, they have developed a style of design that is pretty much unique to them.  Mix one part anime, one part pornography, one part oddity and one part insanity together and stir vigorously, and this is your end product.  No doubting the quality of the printing or artwork, nor the effort put into making it look appealing.  Kudos to them to for maintaining the extraordinary idea of including a single part of a jigsaw puzzle across all of the 24 releases in this series: a move of inspired genius if ever there was one.

Wrapped in the now traditional large plastic bag, and with 2 high visibility colour covers forming a sandwich with the contents, it's a striking looking item when out of the shelf and in full view, but one that becomes invisible once put back on the shelf as it's tall and thin and disappears accordingly.  The hand-drawn design/pattern on the silver CDr disc is ... ummmm, interesting?!  Nazgul has no idea what it attempts to be, or whether different discs have different designs (which seems pretty likely), so if you know more then drop me a line.

Hand-drawn disc art!
So on to the music.  Both songs have a similar theme coming through in them - a message from an unnamed individual to the listener that emerges through layers of static, noise, interference and other aural terrorism.  The Catgirl & Kaelteeinbruch effort throws all manner of effects at the unwary listener, and sounds for the most part like music being piped through the bathroom appliances in a submerged ship.  If you've ever hankered after the experience of hearing what the ghostly band on the stricken Titanic  might sound like from the vantage point of a distant toilet cubicle, here's your chance...!

Bonemachine's performance, on the other hand (and I'm not just saying this for the sake of it - if it wasn't very good you can trust Nazgul to give it you straight), is more compelling.  It may be due to the fact that the glamorous Lady Nazgul and I were watching the film 'Ouija' the other night, but there is a distinct feel from this song that it is channelling the voice of a spirit through some form of Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) device.  Indeed, if you're the type of person who enjoys programmes such as Most Haunted or Ghost Hunters International then this could be very familiar territory for you....

...except that this guess, as it turns out, was a false one.  A quick check with Hugin determined that the song is actually based on Hugo-Award winning TV series Babylon 5!  Oh well, Nazgul's ghost box theory disappears in a puff of smoke.  

Not being au fait with Babylon 5, I can tell you just that the series is set between the years 2257 and 2262, and depicts a future where Earth has sovereign states, and a unifying Earth government. Colonies within the solar system, and beyond, make up the Earth Alliance, and contact has been made with other space-faring species. The ensemble cast portray alien ambassadorial staff and humans assigned to the five-mile-long Babylon 5 space station, a centre for trade and diplomacy. The various story arcs drew upon the prophesies, religious zealotry, racial tensions, social pressures, and political rivalries which existed within each of their cultures, to create a contextual framework for the motivations and consequences of the protagonists' actions.

Beyond that, you're on your own!

Another part of the infamous Catgirl jigsaw puzzle
It is a long song though, and quite a challenge to sit through if you're not otherwise distracted.  Being shrouded in static and noise-clad it can be repetitive on occasion, but just when you think there's nothing more to come a disembodied voice will cut through the murk and quietly urge you to "kill me", which is a rude awakening to say the least.  

Also murmuring away in the background is an apparent faint melody, possibly intentional or possibly a trick of your own perception in trying to find order in the chaos.  Overall, the song seems destined to be one of those tracks that you hear once (or maybe two or three times if you're especially dedicated) and think, "well, that was interesting" ... before dashing off to do something terribly important and leaving this composition in your wake.

However, it's a refreshing change from almost all of Hugin's other musical endeavours, and whilst not the sort of song you'd instinctively reach for to while away a few minutes it certainly fits nicely in the Bonemachine canon of work, and is entertaining and unsettling in equal measure.  What more can you ask for from a Bonemachine song?!

Dedication on the plastic bag from Hugin!

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