Review – The Doll – Hiss (Big Sleep Records)
Review – The Doll – Hiss (Big Sleep Records)

Review – The Doll – Hiss (Big Sleep Records)

The first thing I thought of upon hearing this was “this is very Musique concrète”. This makes sense, it’s listed as a fucking genre. It is absolutely well within the definition of Musique Concrete, but the record stands out from its contemporaries because it seems to adhere dogmatically to this definition. Everything is very noodly and exploratory, everything feels like manipulated organics, and it’s all perfect for a quiet morning with coffee.
Opening with a draining sound and a beer can opening, it feels like a window into a life immediately. “This is the sound of the inside of a person’s head” I think to myself, “This is perception.”
I really like the second track, “saw”, mostly because I can’t quite place what sound this is, but it’s familiar. Whereas the fourth track, Wheel, drives me crazy. I keep thinking my cell phone is interfering, and I’m so conditioned for this sound in recordings that I cringe whenever I hear it.

Track 5, Home Sweet Home, has a similar effect on me until the sweet fucking relief at the end (you’ll know). The aptly named “silence” seems to be a minute long recording of literal silence, however parts of this sound too have definitely been manipulated, which is interfering with the way it’s experienced.

The Doll certainly has a knack of slipping in these weird twists in between something obviously familiar, or putting the obviously familiar into weird spaces. It creates this recognizable aspect to something that’s inherently unnatural. For example the last track sounds like a damn stringed instrument with distortion until you realize it’s not a guitar, it’s a fucking drum, and you’ve been fooled.

“Red tape, red case, red red red” is what they’ve put down for an album description. The tapes look great, by the way, and would absolutely add aesthetically to any tape collection. The towns these pieces were originally recorded are included in the credits, and Macclesfield is included, which apparently has the reputation as a pretty negative place. I don’t get negative feelings from this record. I feel contemplative. Is this is perhaps the effect of everything in the genre? Or has The Doll awakened the contemplative attitude by allowing us to experience their headspace?


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