The Cats’ Orchestra/Regular Music – No Key/Ruins 7.6

                NoKey/Ruins is a cryptic split between two artists who explore darker musical impulses. This means that some of these songs are more curious about mood than outright melody. A few of these songs feature textures, the faint hints of melody, and a slight 80s industrial vibe. Cute and sweet are not to be found anywhere on here. Instead what prevails is a slight sense of gloom. Sounds like this cannot exist in nature. Even the tortured scratches and attempts at melody reveal music that comes from far away, stumbling about, relying on some unseen force to guide it. 

                First is The Cats’ Orchestra which deals with space. Their songs tend to focus on a mixture of electronic and acoustic effects. Bell rings, torturing strings; it is all present in the most ambient song ‘Medusa’ which possess a certain neurosis. ‘Rikki-tikki-tavvi’ on the other hand resembles an attempt at a melody gone very wrong. ‘Aabbaatt’ is perhaps the most normal song on The Cats’ Orchestra side, indeed perhaps on the whole album. ‘Everything That Rises Must Converge’ is the symphony written by Regular Music. Meshing together the sense of drum circles, 80s soundtracks, and large dollops of violence it is exceptional in its weirdness. It is also the most ambitious and longest piece on the entire album. It is beautiful in its intricate detail. 

The music reveals a certain narrative, one that differs between ‘The Cats’ Orchestra’ and the ironically named ‘Regular Music’. Both are odd. Each is odd in a distinct manner divorced from anything approximating normalcy. And the sound is better off for it.