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Castle If

Castle If - Transmissions

(independent) - 2015

Michael Panontin
By her own admission, Jess Forrest sports a cache of equipment that includes such novel pieces as an Oberheim SEM, a Moog Little Phatty and a Korg MicroKorg vocoder, among many others. No surprise then that, as the curiously named Castle If, Forrest and her one-woman show have been delivering riveting electronic music that has checked everything from early seventies kosmische music to more recent hauntological trends and all points in between. Her first major effort, 2012's criminally overlooked Zwei Hande, was a krautrock tour de force, where the ghosts of past masters Kluster and Tangerine Dream clashed head on with the more industrial-strength workings of This Heat and Throbbing Gristle.

Forrest's most recent missive is a video collab with visual artist Lisa Folkerson, filmed in Toronto for a specially commissioned screening at Saskatoon's Mendal Art Gallery on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. The two tracks here, available for download at Bandcamp, are noticeably brief by Forrest's usual standards, clocking in at just three and six minutes each. The videos, which Forrest describes as "more of a cable-access-style television performance than a music video", evoke all those cool Beat Club broadcasts on German TV way back in the early seventies. As for the music, the longer 'Sector 03' is an eerie, melancholic slab of retro-futurism that wouldn't be out of place next to Julian House's projects over at his Ghostbox imprint. Meanwhile, on the backside, 'The Surge' gets the message across more succinctly, again with those vocoded vocals, only this time taking a turn down darker, more new wavy avenues.


     Castle If

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