Boomkat Product Review:
Best known for his work as Foetus, Australian artist and composer JG Thirlwell has in recent years taken to collaborating with classical musicians.
Although it was conceived as early as 2000, Thirlwell's Manorexia project was rearranged to incorporate string quartet, piano, percussion and laptop some years later, and this album, The Mesopelagic Waters, is "the product of the first wave of chamber arrangements of Manorexia material".
Named after a region of the ocean situated between 200 and 1000 metres below, the album suggestively aligns itself with the kind of profound, disorientating depths and unusual lifeforms found that far down. Certainly, this music is alien enough: the anything-goes excitement of modern composition is further complicated by Thirlwell's own tinkering on sampler and keys, resulting in some very strange and highly confrontational noises on 'Tubercular Bells'. For all its restless experimentation, The Mesopelagic Waters actually tends to be immersively accessible, and while the performances are prone to erupt into exaggerated bouts of madness that's all part of this music's lively, combustive charm.