The Body’s Night by James Rushford

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James Rushford | The Body’s Night
Black Truffle (LP)

(Listen to Audioclips)

Melbourne’s James Rushford‘s work is within the aesthetic concept of musical shadow, this is omnipresent on the two sides of The Body’s Night. This electro-acoustic suite dives deep into the psyche of the listener right from the very start with a warbling wind instrument and flowing drone. The boundless percussion is more like a ripple pattern after a gong has been struck, then slowly becoming a psychedelic tale told in fragments.

At first I’m reminded of a modern-day post-apocalyptic sci-fi soundtrack searing so subtly. But instead of a bombastic adventure, this recoils in sensitive quietude, like a whisper into fog. Rushford makes it clear that we are adrift in varying states of consciousness by taking us into the adroit depths of murmuring mutations. He plays with electricity, with gasping and holding breath, and tiny actions that are tension-building.

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By the time the record is flipped I’m relatively lost within this spot-patterned scape, however this really works best as a thirty-three minute, full-length longplayer from end to end without break. Rushford rummages into a rickety and forested mind’s eye mind here, amid a chimera of cursory noises and bright glimmering tones mimicking animated jewels sparkling in a bright light.

The layers think, the volume increases and the work becomes a bit nebulous in terms of setting. But once this provisional obstruction dies down and this goes into a multilayered chamber of echoing scratch and plummet the action comes alive. I’d imagine this work would be most intense served live as it has a build-up of intensity that does not let go. That is until the turn to hallucinatory quietude seeps deeper and deeper – and that is where this work becomes it’s most complex, fragile and interesting – so keep your ears open until the very end as the last six minutes are epic.

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