The albums are available on CD from the shoppe at foetus.org, where you can also listen to previews. The albums are also available digitally here, and also from iTunes, Amazon and regular digital outlets. The albums, however, are not available for streaming on Spotify, Pandora etc. All copies of SOAK come with a free sticker of a variation of the cover artwork, personally signed by JG Thirlwell.
WHAT IS SOAK?
The album kicks off with the beat-heavy “Red and Black and Gray and White”, a celebration of the color scheme of Foetus album covers and an opportunity to proclaim them in the patriotic style of cheer-leading and military cadence. The track employs the drumming of Jeff Davidson, where exuberant paramilitary rhythms collide with chain gangs, big band brass stabs and call-and -response vocals kick off the album in a blistering breathless blast, echoing JG’s intense action-packed scores for the Adult Swim cartoon Venture Bros. “Pratheism” continues JG’s voyage into opera which began with HIDE’s “Cosmetics”, this time abetted by mezzo soprano Natalie Galpern. In the multi-movement composition, which will also appear in Thirlwell’s forthcoming opera, heavy drums drive the bombastic orchestrations, propelled by urgent choral vocals and pulsing analog synthesizer. Singer Abby Fischer joins JG on the lilting seductive piece “Alabaster”, also written for the forthcoming opera, the track being a paean to the singer’s inanimate partner. JG’s version of The Normal‘s electronic post-punk classic “Warm Leatherette” originally appeared in the 7″ box set collection Recovery along with the likes of Johann Johannsson, Fennesz and Alva Noto. JG was commissioned to record a cover version of John Carpenter‘s “Halloween” while creating the sound design for the website of the remake of the classic horror film. JG decided to resurrect it, merging it with an original piece “Turbulence”. In the same way that Wendy Carlos‘ “Switched on Bach” took classical music and re-cast it in the electronic musical idiom, with his versions of “Halloween” and “Warm Leatherette”, JG is taking classics of electronic music and recasting them in a symphonic idiom, reconfiguring them from the minimalism that made them distinctive at the time into a bombastic maximalism. “Kamikaze” is a post-millennial psychedelic meditation on Japanese suicide pilots, evoking a classic romanticism in it’s Beatle-esque refrain. JG’s eccentric interpretation “La Rua Madureira” follows, complete with balkanized mid-section and dream sequence, summoning the author of the song, tragic french chanteur Nino Ferrer, who shot himself in the heart in 1998. Following the twisting cinematic opus of “Spat”, Secret Chiefs 3 remix the Foetus track “Cosmetics” , turning it on it’s head and infusing it with some of their style while retaining the mad collision of opera and prog. The album closes gently with the meditation-cum-lullabye “Mesmerin”, blurring the line between anti-depressants and religious awakening.
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JG Thirlwell’s chamber soundtrack to the film “The Blue Eyes” is also released on the same day. The original score was created for Eva Aridjis‘ Mexican-lensed supernatural thriller, and is performed with an ensemble which includes Manorexia alumni Karen Waltuch on violin & viola and Isabel Castelvi on cello plus Nathan Koci (Ensemble Modern, Bang On A Can etc) on french horn, James Ilgenfritz (Lukas Ligeti, Anthony Braxton ) on contrabass and Marcus Rojas (David Byrne, Steven Bernstein) on tuba and bass trombone, with JG on everything else, including piano, electronics and percussion. The film, set in Chiapas, Mexico, stars Allison Case (Hair, Mamma Mia, Nurse Jackie) and Zachary Booth (Taking Woodstock, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Darkhorse) and was released theatrically in Mexico.