Boomkat Product Review:
Once you're over the initial impact of Irish artist Jennifer Walshe's anthropomorphic vocal acrobatics you'll find much to admire about her work here. There are a few superficial parallels to be drawn between Walshe and Norwegian composer Maja Ratkje. Both come from an impressive academic background and focus much of their work on abstract vocal-based music and electronic treatments, although while her Norwegian contemporary makes a gleefully, chaotic racket, Walshe's music, as collected here, situates the voice within the context of more formal electroacoustic sound art. In addition to the animal-themed first piece, the disc features a series of shorter sound collage pieces built from interview recordings plus a lengthy and impressive half-hour composition that throws the voice together with field recordings and processed instrumentation. After this excellent piece you'll probably be back to sniggering mode when you reach the final track, 'G.L.O.R.I.': Walshe - seemingly live and in realtime - becomes a human sequencer, cutting and splicing through several decades of pop songs, as if she were a personification of the People Like Us discography. Journey, Dizzee Rascal, Britney, B52s, Abba, Leonard Cohen, Madonna and a great many more are all spliced together with occasional split-seconds of tenderness (Lee Hazelwood and Elliott Smith for example) stitched in between. This faux-editing is all done so well that you find yourself recognising even the most infinitesimal segues between songs like Backstreet Boys' 'I Want It That Way' and The Carpenters' 'Close To You'. It's actually quite amazing, sounding simultaneously like the silliest thing you've ever heard and perhaps also one of the most impressive.