Wonderful Beasts – Art Of Whisper: Album Review

Audio wave riding high priest of the sonic spheres boycalledcrow and, experimental artist and remixer Xqui have teamed up to bring you their debut album under the name of Wonderful Beasts.

Release Date: 20th March 2020

Label: Wormhole World

Format: CD / Digital

Wonderful Beasts latest album brought to my mind an arty Japanese gangster movie called Sonatine. Directed by ‘Beat’ Takeshi Kitano, it tells the story of a group of Yakuza hiding out at a remote beach house to avoid the fallout of an escalating gang war. It is unlike any other gangster film as it has a real air of serenity. However, amidst the calm, there are punctuations. Punctuations of extreme violence, that serve to bookmark the beauty of it in a wonderful way.

The same can be said for Art of Whisper. Long periods of ambient beauty are suddenly interrupted by eruptions of noise. Not a cacophony of noise though, just a pounding drum, a brooding bass line or a driving beat here or there. Into the Emerald Eye has moments that could be at home over a John Carpenter film, before unravelling into something altogether more tranquil. This tranquility is key with companion pieces, I fell into a/another dream. Both beautiful, floating ambient pieces woven with guitarwork.

Wonderful Beasts are a tricky one to categorise, which in this day and age is a huge feat in itself, but one group who came to mind the more I explored was Fuck Buttons. Not something you would expect from a group who border on ambience, but that aforementioned marriage of peace and fury that FB made their staple is extremely apparent on My Old Guitar. Driving drums are entangled with an angular melody all on a bed of airy synths.

There is real weight to the polarities on Art of Whisper, and the very concept of opposing parts is something that appears embedded in its DNA. The original tracks were made by boycalledcrow, before he passed the stems on to collaborator Xqui, who assembled them and added touches of his own without ever listening to the original tracks. It is clearly a formula that works as this is an accomplished LP that manages to evoke a wide range of emotions whilst never feeling less than the sum of its parts. Well worth a listen.

Wonderful Beasts: Bandcamp / Twitter

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