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CD Feature/ Fovea Hex: "Allure"

img  Tobias

“Harry Potter” isn’t the only series to come to a close these days. Far off from Hogwarts, muggles, quidditch and Hermione, the first musical journey of Clodagh Simonds’ Fovea Hex ends with the release of “Allure”, the final installment in a triade of EPs that has held many in the music scene breathless over its unique structures and the exact meaning of its motto “neither speak, nor remain silent”. Slowly, the news of its arrival trickled through the medial percolator. First, there were excerpts of the new songs, then cover scans and thematic hints. In the very last stage, Andrew McKenzie’s efforts as a remixer were stinted by his health and an obsession of turning the bonus disc to the release into a monumental work of its own, further delaying the publication. Of course, he was right in doing so – his one hour long “An Answer” will have Hafler Trio fans dance in exultation. Meanwhile, the title to that track remains questionable with regards to the music on “Allure”. Doesn’t it, after all, leave listeners with more questions than before?

To whatever conclusions one may come, the twentyfive minutes of this CD will probably defy the expectations of most who have followed the project this far. From the first reviews, one anticipated solemn grace. With regards to the logic of Hollywood trilogies, an explanation seemed in place. But when Simonds starts to sing, the claustrophobia of “Bloom” has still not subsided: “Take my coat – remove my shell/ And may all my bones be dissolved as well”. Does that sound like a solution, is this the voice of beauty? Much more than a statement of aesthetics, “Allure” is about love, longing and loss, about a sense of oblivion in the shadow of an overwhelming presence and about obsessions that can not be fulfilled. Most of all, however, it is about how the past always comes back to haunt you – or how you sometimes wish it would. “Long Distance”, the second track and the darkly poetic core to the EP, sums it up in lyrics that deal with the question of what it means when all you have is a memory: “Last night – this dream: I heard your voice push in the Silence and murmur my Name/ I woke – I broke to pieces. (...) Say you came back this way... “ Simonds does not portrait these sentiments as broken as the text implies. There is just as much anger in her voice as there is frailty; a sign that the music, which is more tangible than ever here with acoustic folk, nervous rhythms and electric guitar erruptions breaking up the floating drones, is merely the soil under which subcutaneous motives sprawl; and it is not without reason that the idea of the body as a shell is a red thread throughout. In the brute bass signals  of “Long Distance”, the work reaches its climax, all dilemmas hanging in the air suspended and without hope.

It is only in the last six instrumental minutes that the plot unravels – albeit rather as a whisper than a detective story. Percy Jones’ “subaquatic fretless Bass” and Geoff Sample’s fieldrecordings of “Moorland Birds and Lakewater” heal the wounds and caress the troubled mind. The world suddenly makes sense again in this quiet promise that everything will be well and you realize that in the end, the fear will go, because you have faced it, not because you have rationally come to terms with it. Wherever words fail, music must take over and this is, of course, the true meaning of the phrase “neither speak nor remain silent”. Somehow, there seems to be more magic to this simple message than Harry Potter could ever conjure up with his wand.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Fovea Hex at MySpace
Homepage: Die Stadt Records
Homepage: Janet Records

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