Boomkat Product Review:
‘Northern Luv Songs 4 Wen Ur Life’s A Mess’ truly scrubs out the bowels of Tom Boogizm's emotional plumbing, chopping and screwing dream pop, narcotic improv and freeform DIY echoes into a fuzzy and utterly bewitching opus that’s essential listening if yr into anything from Durutti Column to Vincent Gallo, Andrew Chalk to Arthur Russell.
Last year's ‘A Blues’, our album of the year, switched from Rat Heart’s usual scuzzed club mode into a slow-motion reflection pool of love and loss. Using a rudimentary setup of a Tascam recorder, sampler, guitar, mic and a few pedals, Boogizm reinforced an elemental energy that's been present in so much of our favourite music for decades, linking Vini Reilly's inconsolable echoes with Autechre's early future-shocked melancholia and even Rainy Miller's more recent waterlogged canticles.
This second album released as Rat Heart Ensemble brings out his faded colours and pained expressions in a symphony of dejection, desolation and loose-lipped emotional transference. Each track plays like a psychic survey; keeping an insistent distance from any marketable scene or another to sway to his own un-strangled artistic pulse. If you're looking for an accurate read of the British cultural climate right now, there are few documents we reckon are gonna be as imperishable as this.
Shrouded in an atmospheric clag, Boogizm intuitively spins out the blues on a noumenal loom that weaves in aspects of DIY bedroom styles akin to Dean Blunt and echoes the way it poured out of The Durutti Column’s plangent prayers, resonating thru Roy Montgomery’s spectral jangles and end of world romance. The loss, shame, confusion and isolation of the last few years is all skinned up into tightly packed dog-end of blunted noise, queasy romance and couch-locked paranoia.
Like Burial or James Kirby, Boogizm treats his art as a vessel through which to channel a musical language not for clout but for connection. A voracious record collector, he’s developed a nuanced language as a DJ that effortlessly translates to his productions; he hears music for what it is, not a set of signals to net showy European festival circuit A/V premieres, but a string of universal knots that take patience and understanding to carefully unravel. We can't tell you exactly what the context of "Northern Luv Songs..." might be, but the emotions are laid out bare from the outset.
‘Liars ‘Eyes is plastic euphoria that tapers Actress' Black Country hiss into bubble-wrapped cabaret vaporwave. ‘I Bet You Wished, Lad’ is even more faded, with pained wails emerging from a coarse bed of Grouper-esque saturated amplifier hum, while 'Already Been In Green' smudges pointillist daubs from Robin Guthrie and Graham Sutton into impressionist panels of bright, ambivalent abstraction. The awkward, synthetic strings on 'This, Then We’re Thru!’ are as much ‘World of Echo’ as they are ‘Key Nell’, with Boogizm's voice sounding frank and devastating, while the long-form inverted soft-power ambience of 'I'll Be All Day' fades blissfully into the heartbreaking folk of 'Note From A Tea Leaf'.
Rat Heart’s post-Brexit, post-lockdown landscape is a hash of nostalgia and longing that laments the lost, refusing to celebrate the ignorance of modernism or its edgier, more pessimistic sibling. It's just pure expression, and we can't help but lose ourselves completely in it.