Boomkat Product Review:
William Bennett’s Cut Hands mark a decade of disruption with magnum opus ‘Sixteen ways Out’, hailing a surprising change of pace and style into spare chamber versions of his work voiced by his creative and life partner Mimsy DeBlois
Preceded by a seven year absence, Cut Hands’ return to the fray is a solemn and haunting affair that operates in the shadowy nether region between electro-acoustic and classical musicks. Compositions from that fecund first run of Cut Hands between 2011-2015 are here stripped of their studied Congolese rhythms and reset in richly noirish, cinematic dimensions, where Mimsy’s vocals almost appear to mimic the subvocalised narration from Ghost In The Shell, with her mix of poetry and prosaic numerical sequences allowed to coldly reverberate the upper registers amid alternating backdrops of swarming spectral apparitions and puckered original instrumentation.
Aye, it’s not what we were expecting at all, and better for it. The original Cut Hands productions, effectively exhausted his interests in Congolese, West African, and Haitian rhythms, and what we’re left with on ‘Sixteen Ways Out’ is a sort of residual meditation, all dematerialised echoes of sources that remains out of sight and earshot. It’s a sound he has previously explored in the likes of ‘Krokodilo’, which memorably soundtracked a Vice documentary on Russian drug addicts, but here dominates proceedings, and finds a sharp new foil thru Mimsy’s vox, distinguishing their inverted versions of Cut Hands classics such as ‘Curl Up And Die’ and ‘River Mumam’ beside reams of new material, at its dark ambient cinematic best in the likes of its elegiac opener ‘Inka’ and the dark baroque of ‘Navillera’, before almost looping back into the original sound with the resonant thumb piano like tang of ‘Secret of Elegua.’