There I was just the other day declaring the double-album to be a dusty relic of the ancient past when along come CS + Kreme with the girthy gatefolded SNOOPY. There's been much anticipation for this one round our way, especially after their recent London show which I gather was ace; I've really liked their previous stuff but it perhaps sailed a bit too close to pyjama music for me, whereas right from the get-go this album has GRISTLE and a certain only-just-kept-at-bay PAIN to it, and if it's Balearic then it's the most dissolute, lonesome, drug-deranged and dub-crinkled (definite echoes of Kreme's work in F ingers with Carla and Tarquin Manek) take you could possibly imagine.
The album is too sprawling - DOUBLE LP BABY! - for me to have fully got my head around yet, but right now I'm particularly digging 'Blue Flu', with Conrad's droning posthuman vocals (a kinda instrumental texture first and foremost) and a grave Desertshore harmonium threading themselves around a sampled womp-womp bassline and ultra-blunted breakbeat which reminds me of, I dunno, LOTS of things, but right now I have in mind Richard H. Kirk's quietly batshit 90s solo projects (Al Jabr, the Virtual State LP etc); and the gorgeous, elegiac 'Saint', with its very pertinent "Where does ecstasy go?" lyric and VERY strong Bark Psychosis vibes.
There are moments of woozy melodic uplift all over the record, to be sure, but they're always fleeting... the vibe is very much Paradise LOST. And it's obvious the songs have been arranged by sick and sleep-deprived heads, everything is spun out for a little longer than is sane, the sonics are just the right combination of crisp and voluptuous, oh yeah...feel like I need to swim in this one a bit longer, and god knows it deserves more of a considered write-up than NEWSLETTER DEADLINE is currently allowing me, so suffice to say for now... it's a knockout!