Blackest Ever Black – October 28, 2016
Carla Dal Forno debuts her solo music with You Know What It’s Like, an amalgamation and pastiche of musique concrète, post-punk, and folk. This time-out-of-joint album is as contemporary as it is timeless. Carla’s humdrum vocals drift in an atmospheric haze over colorfully saturated tracks for the “inbetween days”.
“Italian Cinema” kicks off the album in an airy nod to what sounds like dizzy bugs crawling from ear to ear. The minimal track evolves into a playful and mysterious lullaby as it fades into a layered and tranquil hiss. Easing through misty tape saturation, thunderous reverb, and drifting synths comes her single “Fast Moving Cars”. Cavernous chugging beats and wheezing instrumentation are contrasted with Carla’s gentle vocalization. Her blasé voice fizzes through echo as she speaks of ephemeral thrills, trust, and intimacy. Pushing the known fringes of her love, she wants “to know what else there can be” and to “do something exciting”. Her lusty dissatisfaction prompts her to never “stay in one place. I have no desire”. “DB Rip” is an airy lullaby with a continuous backbeat that drives toward towering synths and vocal textures. There is a pulse to this track that bounces swirling effects of noise and bass.
“What You Gonna Do Now?” sibilates with post-punk aesthetics and vocals in the vein of Nico. The track is also reminiscent of the days of Delia Derbyshire’s mid-century experiments in electronic music. The repetitious beat meanders through her uneasy lyrics to reveal the fleeting nature of love and our uncompromising desire to continue with it. “Dry in the Rain” is an instrumental track that stands at the crossroads of earthy textures and that of an ethereal infinite horizon. The evolving percussive drive is juxtaposed with folk instrumentation to create an off-kilter flutter that could fit somewhere between a Baroque funeral march and an early Brian Eno track.
“You Know What It’s Like” is a bell-dominated diddy reminiscent of Treasure-era Cocteau Twins or a song from Tears For Fears’ The Hurting. Perky synthesizers and an effected guitar dance like a juggling court jester. Carla’s lyrics fade in and start to have a Tête–à–tête with thunderous drum that builds and falls throughout the track. “Dragon Breath” interweaves a samey drone and reed-like tone to evoke a meditative experience. Tape hiss and saturation bubble in the background creating an evocative experience of what a behemoth might sound like. “The Same Reply” finishes the album with a frustration with all things ephemeral. The track opens with the pouring of water and chugs into a dismal march. With pitched down drums and catawampus piano, Carla spearheads the ménage a trois into a stirring yet shifting canto. Pops and rips of reverb end the album and leave you with that special tingly feeling down your spine.
The album feels organic yet processed, blending live instrumentation with synthesized tones. This is Carla dal Forno’s first album, following her prior roles in Mole House, F ingers, and Tarcar.
If you enjoyed this release, we recommend…
Tropic of Cancer – Restless Idylls
Gazelle Twin – The Entire City
Cigarettes After Sex – I.