Boomkat Product Review:
Playful cabaret featuring spoken word over mutant glam grooves by Berlin legends Gudrun Gut (Malaria!) and Beate Bartel (Liaisons Dangerueses, CH-BB), issued by Gudrun’s long-running Moabit Musik label
“Sirens is the new album from Canadian spoken word poet Myra Davies, with music by Berliners Gudrun Gut and Beate Bartel. Myra Davies is back with a new packet of witty stories and poetic reportage in a dynamic current of electronica by Berliners, Gudrun Gut and Beate Bartel. Movement is a major theme. Davies's eye, insightful yet detached, wanders assertively over land to sea to outer space, through time; past to present to future. Her observations and reflections on art, culture, convention, capitalism, express instability and the contingent, even conjectural, nature of existence. Yet, they suggest (without promising) the possibility of optimistic resolution. For Davies, the personal is political and art is more so.
The album includes a three-track riposte to Götterdammerung, the final opera in Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle. Two tracks tell the story. The third, "Do Ya", links the epic to us. Wagner was called "the great seducer" because he aimed to "take" his audience in an emotional gut grab that's been described as "artistic rape". No invitation here to sink hypnotically into the dark ambient tones Gut and Bartel provide for Davies, who, in telling the story, frequently pops out of it to comment. Indeed, the point of revisiting this end time for übermenschen is to draw attention to the eagerness with which people give themselves to art, politics, love, war, consumption, work, religion, pop culture, technology, vanity, and thus to bondage. Fortunately, the message is delivered in a tempestuous roil of words and music; This is a Pandora's box of biting zeitgeist - past, present and future - propelled by beats, contrapuntal dynamics, broken rhymes, scraps from here and there, and fragments of great white dead men.
A personal note from Myra Davies: "The word 'siren' contains both allure and danger warning. Come hither. Stay away. Such isometric emotional dualities can drive a person around a post like a work donkey. I question such 'native' impulses and the romantic notion that emotion is the seat of authenticity, our true core. Our minds - amygdala included - are colonized. Yet the human brain is flexible. It's possible to take territory, to write our own code. 'Your mission, if you choose to accept it.' Thanks for listening." Davies and Gut have worked together since 1991 on several releases, notably Miasma 1 (1993), 2 (1997) and 3 (2002), and multi-media performances.”