Followers of Talvihorros’ past work will have become accustomed to nightmarish, dystopian musical visions so when the man behind the mask, Ben Chatwin, is calling his latest album ‘Eaten Alive’, it’s safe to say he’s not put his feet up for an easy life just yet. Indeed, on this album, Chatwin has collaborated with Fluid Radio owner Daniel Crossley for inspiration; drawing on his own harrowing experiences of London life.
In a familiar game of contrasts, on ‘Little Pieces Of Discarded Life’, feedback and glitchy effects represent the evil side but on the side of good, there is a warm keyboard melody which wouldn’t sound out of place on Labradford’s landmark ‘Fixed::Context’ album. For ‘Four Walls’, the track begins with a simple guitar refrain as minimalist electronica pulses in the manner of a life support machine. Slowly the guitars become more aggressive, the rhythms and abstract layers of sound darken; becoming so intense that the effect becomes unavoidably claustrophobic. Those themes of slowly escalating horror become a constant, the pain eased somewhat by achingly gorgeous melodies such as those featured on ‘Objectum’ and the glistening, reverberating ‘Dyspnea’. Then there’s the stunning ‘The Secrets Of The Sky’ which gives the impression of a modern, deeply troubled take on Kraftwerk circa ‘Man Machine’ and is relentless in its quest to uncover the trauma lying in the capital city’s murky streets.
‘Eaten Alive’ may be a departure in sound for Chatwin but he has perfected the art of making instrumental music which is so powerful and evocative, foolish ideas like words seem unsubtle and redundant. It also rounds up a a satisfying triptych of albums from Chatwin, the first lost in water, the second lost in space and now the third, lost in the gaping maw of London life.
Labradford, Kraftwerk, Bark Psychosis