Gemma Ray & The Death Bell Gang - S/T LP (splatter color vinyl)
Gemma Ray & The Death Bell Gang - S/T LP (Bronze Rat Records/UK)
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Gemma Ray & The Death Bell Gang sees Berlin-based British artist Gemma Ray take an unexpected detour from her usual psych-soul and torch-song oeuvre, with an electronic-based record that is both a sonic departure and a difference in process. Evolving without her previous tools and parameters, the record sprang from a visit to the studio of her neighbour in Tempelhof Berlin, sound designer Ralf Goldkind (whose credits include Fantastichen Vier, Trost, Mona Mur). “ I just went in for a cup of tea, as my studio is in the same building”, says Gemma. Conversations merged into Gemma collecting sounds and sending them to Ralf, and vice versa. “Not field recordings, but vocal recordings on the phone and recordings of recordings”. They ended up with warped, bent and digitally battered guitars, contorted jams, destroyed signals, and a canvas for new songs to emerge. With this stockpile of patterns and sounds courtesy of Ralf’s interpretive designs, Gemma dug for the beauty, and the beautifully nasty and wrote from there. The only rule was “no happy shit” and in fact that motto was painted onto the wall during the sessions to serve as a reminder. That is not to say however that this is a sombre misery-fest. Amongst the funereal (Procession), the nightmarish (All These Things) and the heavy (I Am Not Who I Am), are the automaton-pop (The Point That Tears) the yearning (single Come Oblivion), and the tender (Howling). All epic despite their underlying simplicity and groove, and with a dada-esque playfulness underpinning it all. The album also includes guest musicians Kristof Hahn (Swans) on lap steel, and Andy Zammit on drums. Limited splatter and eco vinyl (500 each worldwide), comes with an exclusive pullout poster and download card.