Conquering Animal Sound‘s debut album KAMMERSPIEL is essentially pop music, but in the way the likes of Fever Ray or Björk portray pop music. Where Conquering Animal Sound differ is in their love for tape hiss and childrens toys. There is no doubt, with this record they are in a world of their own.
Thus quoth the information I received concerning Scottish duo Conquering Animal Sound, which I quote because it’s a neat summary and I recognise I’m about to use a somewhat unconventional method to describe it…
I decided to dip my toes into that world earlier this morning by way of taking a listen to a select few tracks from the album, and I think the above album cover is a pretty good representation, in so far as my first impressions were concerned – a little wintry and dispersed – a slight fracture in known logic (or a reorganisation thereof), but related in a way that means the whole picture still makes perfect sense.
When it came to this point – where I make an attempt at further describing what I heard in a way that’s hopefully readily understood – I was inexplicably reminded of a conversation I once had; to the point where I couldn’t escape the notion that even though the conversation was utterly unrelated, it seemed (to me) the perfect way to describe the music of Conquering Animal Sound. (I should point out I take liberties with the definition of the word describe. Perhaps ascribe might be a better term in these circumstances). Anyway, like it or not, here is an edited portion of said conversation, which was kinda about birds, owls in particular:
Me: If I was an owl, I’d be secretly thinking, the thoughts partitioned, and I’d remember them later, when I’m upside down and the walls slide up – different thoughts are viewable by turning the head a little, like a kaleidoscope.
Them: Lacrimose and swivelly. Owls have a swivelly sort of grace. Sometimes their eyes grow bigger, one than the other, and its all a-blink at the world, and the world is snapped up in the vision/beak/other.
Me: I turned the dial and was trying to find the frequency for “Sing, Little Birdie”, but it’s not to be found – this particular raven quoth “Nothingmore”. Well, that’s a lie – I read about multi-coloured balloons (some are in the shape of a cat, and some look like walnuts – after the air has escaped), and beautiful moments caught by the eye…but I looked up from the book and heard night-music and spotted a couple of flirting owls.
I assure you that conversation not only made perfect sense in context, but the thoughts in there seem (to me) utterly interspersed with the music I was listening to – so much so that I couldn’t think of any other words to describe it.
Of course, you’re welcome to have your own conversation with CAS…
Released in conjunction with mini50 Records, pre-orders are currently being taken through Gizeh @Bandcamp (official release date Feb 7th, with pre-orders to ship on the on or around the 1st). The limited edition version (which includes a bonus CD and an artwork print) has only a handful of copies left, so if you want to reserve one of those best do it now.
As an afterthought, once I had written this post I decided to use Google Translate to see the English translation of kammerspiel… As it turns out, it’s intimate play. If I was an owl, both my eyes would be large and turning their dials. O_O