Album Review

Fe-mail – “Blixter Toad ” – [Asphodel]

Thurston Hunger   6/1/2006   A Library, CD

I’m on a major Maja mission. Maja Ratkje along with her
Fe-Mail partner, Hild Sofie Tafjord are also in SPUNK;
a Rune Grammofon bit of SPUNK is in the KFJC pipes right
now along with a beauty of a solo picture disk. This is
“surf noise”, agressive waves of sound crash splashly but
somehow Maja’s soothing voice manages to stay afloat atop
those waves (even when her modified voice is churning the
selfsame waters.) This CD is every bit as weird and wooly
as the frog-women photos with their turtlenecks taking
over, it sounds like playtime in the laboratory. Science
is fun, and it can include harmonicas with the harm.
(See “After the Rain”) A key to the Fe-Mail mystique is
how they sucker punch you with their noise; this is not
a constant testosterone-torn hole in your ear, it’s a
series of perforations, leavened with toy piano, marshy
mucking and decoy duck honking, gossaper sustained
whispers (check “Ballad”). Fe-mail coddles you with
maternal bliss, but later look out for the infernal
hiss. It’s not as harsh as that, there are some really
pretty moments (yes including “The Pretty Song”), but
mostly to me this has as much a good sense of humor as
it does a sharp sense of balance between chaos and order.
A hit from two Misses. -Thurston Hunger

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