Dream team trio Better Corners – Valentina Magaletti, Sarah Register and Matthew Simms – have completed a staggering new album Continuous Miracles: Vol. 2 for state51 Conspiracy, and where their debut LP joyfully opened the door to a brand new room, this one strides purposefully inside.
Renowned drummer/percussionist Magaletti (Holy Tongue, Vanishing Twin, Moin), avant rock musician and in demand mastering engineer Register (Kim Gordon, Talk Normal) and multi-instrumentalist and modular obsessed Simms (Wire, MEMORIALS) inject an all-too-rare sense of childlike wonder and joy into their own inimitable collage of experimental rock, wonky dream pop, analog ambient, tape experimentation, avant percussion, modular electronics and noise music.
It is this sense of fun that led to one of the band’s “uncovers”: ‘Modulating De Niro’ began with a solo piano version of Bananarama’s ‘Robert De Niro’s Waiting’ which was then sent on a very long journey through modular synth patches and FX chains until it became the unrecognisable to the original and the majestic beast it is now. The album centres round the colossal 16- minute-long ‘Career Test’, a dynamic trip through glitch-enhanced noise, machine dub and the ambience of amplified rock music, to a transcendent, mind-expanding modern raga.
The touchstones are varied and thrilling with nods to mid-80s Sonic Youth, Grouper, Stars Of The Lid, Arthur Russell, Delia Derbyshire, Bongwater and Claire Rousay.
Like an industrial Gamelan played by a future civilisation who have never heard it, only read about it in ancient books, the song is formed from bowed treated guitars, hypnotic hand drums, water bowl and bells. It also has a suitably macabre genesis, as Register reveals: “I was visiting my aunt's house and slept in her bedroom. In the headboard of her bed are places for curiosities and heirlooms. In these spaces she had box after box of the ashes of pets of hers that I had known over the years…”
The album concludes with the beautiful piano experiment Continuous Miracles which both provides the apex of their endeavours to date and points the way forward.
Available on limited black & white twisted knot vinyl