Caro Snatch – Til you’re no longer blinkered
There are albums you can latch to and absorb completely, soaking up in the melodies and structures spiralling from your headphones/earbuds/waxcollectors/speakers. There’s also albums that as much as you try, you can only adsorb, looking for a way in. Alas, you might find that there is porosity, but not permeability; no connection in the pore structure.
But you come back to it several times. With a pick axe. With a pneumatic drill. With an ACME brand satchel of explosive charges. To no avail. And then you decide to walk around and find there was a way in on the side you didn’t check.
This long intro is equal parts a warning and a reasoning of how Caro Snatch‘s Til you’re no longer blinkered is a hard sell. It’s not a bad album and every idea and musical sound/glitch/sample has a reason to be there. It’s just out of the ordinary, like the Musique Concrète of yore. Possibly armed with something more technologically advanced than what the BBC Radiophonic or Eduard Artemiev had at their disposal, Caro Snatch manages to create strange musical puzzles. Ideas play musical chairs with each other. A chorus, some opera, a creepy sample of breathing, it’s all there.
Til you’re no longer blinkered is very experimental. Like the soundtrack to an art installation (or radio art), the music creates an atmosphere that envelops the lyrics, which seem very personal and range from equalling one’s sense of perception to the topographical features of a mountain (‘Mammoth Mountain’, good call on the glacier stuff) to the conclusion that sometimes you need to shed stuff to be free, even if it means a free fall (‘Icarus Intuitology’).
Showing her experience as a sound engineer, you do get to appreciate the little tricks she’s pulling around. The samples, the way sounds are layered to create atmospheres, it all comes together. Even the spoken word approach to vocals can become another instrument, like the mantra nature of the lyrics in ‘To do list’, the one song that feels like a film reel cycled all over.
Again, let’s go over the lyrics. The spoken word approach works well, as although the voice sometimes feels detached, there’s moments when you almost feel like Caro Snatch is in a lot of pain singing this lyrics. ‘Mary Rose’ in particular feels like a disdain/longing/disdain cycle, like trying to soak in a particularly bad set of news.
There are a couple of remixes by Caro Snatch of other artists (Beccy Owen, Frau Aike) and they are a sample of Ms. Snatch‘s sound manipulation skills. They are interesting pieces too, but it’s the original compositions the ones that really feel like pulling you in.
Til you’re no longer blinkered is hard as a rock to get into, but it’s also as translucent as a piece of quartz. Probably resonates too as well, palpitating like a cold heart in the middle of a cold machine that longs to feel like all the other silly humans do.