HIDE features ten new compositions by JG Thirlwell, who describes it as a “neo-symphonic avant-psychedelic concept album informed by the culture of fear”.
Kicking off with a nine minute operatic opus featuring the guest vocal talents of opera singer Abby Fischer, HIDE is an immersive album infused with strands of progressive and contemporary classical, from symphonic psychedelia to musiq concrete, as well as Thirlwell’s twisting cinematic journeys, bombast and sombre interludes.
Thirlwell produced the album and performs most of the music. Also guesting on the album are long time collaborator Steven Bernstein on trumpet and Leyna Marika Papach from Thirlwell’s Manorexia ensemble on violin. In addition Elliot Hoffman of Carbomb plays drums on a track, and there are appearances from Ed Pastorini, Jeff Davidson and Christian Gibbs (Lucinda Blackbear).
The album is available from www.foetus.org/
What is HIDE?
Hidden beneath the trademark red, white and black color palette on the sleeve of HIDE is a very different beast from any of Thirlwell’s other releases.
Kicking off with the 9 minute “Cosmetics”, the album launches with operatic intensity.Choral vocals courtesy Thirlwell and mezzo-soprano Abby Fischer promise a “glorious release” as orchestras explode and seduce. The album continues thru the symphonic psychedelia “Paper Slippers”, an ode to to a person soon to be institutionalized. It next erupts into “You Stood Me Up”, an amphetimal rhapsodic stomper which redefines the phrase Melodramatic Popular Song. On the brooding, strange seductive “Here Comes The Rain” (also the first video on the album), he imagines a world consumed by mudslides when a drought is broken. Travelling to the majestic plains of “Oilfields”, the sombre, dramatic composition beckons crusades and presages the second coming as female voices embrace their destiny in hushed tones.
The aptly titled “Concrete” is a piece constructed Musiq Concrete style with sounds creating the structure. “The Ballad of Sisyphus T.Jones” is a cinematic opus that recasts Sisyphus as a protagonist in Sergio Leone – style western, abetted by a grand of cutthroat child soldiers from Sierra Leone, while galloping thru multiple movements, mariachi against Morricone, escaping Thanatos and following Icarus to the sun.
Fortitiudine Vincemnus (latin for “By Endurance, We Conquer” ) is a short, extremely intense choral and symphonic blast, which warns the listener to stay in their homes. “You’re Trying to Break Me” is a monstrous tale of persecution and paranoia with explosive cathartic instrumental sections, while the album ends with “O Putrid Sun”, a sour lullaby inspired by the loss of Thirlwell’s friend to cancer.
What has JG Thirlwell been doing since the release of the last all-new Foetus studio album, LOVE, in 2005?
Never one to rest on his laurels (or rest at all, for that matter) he has, among other things:
* Written two string quartet commissions for Kronos Quartet.
* Formed a chamber ensemble version of his Manorexia project, which has performed in Moscow, NY, London and at ATP.
* Scored another three seasons of the hit Adult Swim cartoon The Venture Bros.
* Released the Foetus remix album “Vein” featuring Fennesz, Mike Patton, Matmos and many more;
* Released the archival CD/DVD/book package of his early experimental compositions “Limb”;
* Released the soundtrack of The Venture Bros on Cartoon Network’s Williams Street label
* Released an album of chamber works on John Zorn’s Tzadik label.
* In addition, this summer he led a twenty piece orchestral version of Steroid Maximus in a triumphant concert in NYC’s Prospect Park for the Celebrate Brooklyn festival