The slow fall of leaves in a slightly warm Autumn afternoon is always a magical experience. All those once-green leaves have turned yellow, red and brown and fall down due to the whims of the wind, like a spoiled child breaking away a toy they didn’t appreciate (an act they will regret later in life).
Those memories, bubbling below, are trapped like sounds that come and go, dithering away into the distance. Sounds with no names, like the 4 tracks that make up for My Cat is an Alien newest EP, Living on the Invisible Line.
Then again, they are very long songs. The EP clocks a whopping 37 minutes and ‘Untitled one’ lasts 15 minutes. It’s a droning number, full of dissonances that are unsettling. Loops (perhaps a reverse echo somewhere in the mix?) grow in volume as detail over detail are layered. It ends up as a Baroque collage of sounds, becoming as unsettling as the first steps back into the dark recesses of your buried memories of a dark, past event. The ending screams “revelation” or “acceptance”.
‘Untitled 2’ is equally droning, but it feels friendlier. It still has a slight mean feel to it, but it’s more about that feeling of longing: loved relatives in a far away country; the forgotten touch of a loved one who you barely see anymore. The droning keyboards are slightly woken by an iterative guitar strum that fades like memories of a bad night out until only your ringing ears remain.
From the deadly tone of a flat note we go into bubblier, more playful grounds. ‘Untitled 3’ feels like a small child playing with an electronic piano for the first time. A note is played again and again. Then another one. Do they sound good together? No, but something in that cacophony beckons the child to continue playing, to twist the knobs and move the levers in the instrument and create something wild that won’t be played again nor remembered. As time passes, though, the exceedingly strange noises go away and now the thoughtful notes now sound full of sorrow, thinking about those long lost notes from the past.
Speaking of sorrow, the last track, ‘Untitled 4’ (there’s a pattern here…) is a downbeat as they make them. Sure, there’s the cacophony-laden beginning that seems to be the calling card of My Cat is an Alien but it’s soon(ish) abandoned for a very minimal sound that delivers a haunting atmosphere. A couple of noises sneaking in (including a very disconcerting crackling noise) but it never becomes as overbearing as the ones from ‘Untitled 1’. This is the quiet bit of Living on the invisible line and by the end you feel well spent.
Living on the invisible line is another experimental piece by My Cat is an Alien. If found sounds and droning atmospheres are your cuppa, this is definitely one for the list. The textures waltzing with dissonances are combined beautifully but it does get a little overbearing if it’s the first time you tackle the genre.