The album ‘At Least A Hundred Fingers’ by duo Twofish is an epic, cinematic musical journey that ebbs and flows with intensity and dynamism. Difficult to slot into any genre, it has the vibrancy of Dead Can Dance with an infusion of world instrumentation – many synthetic, some organic – and a syncopated thrum throughout that recalls Kraftwerk.
Opening track Tilt/Shift, opening with a sample from a railway announcement, has a motororik, syncopated beat – a drum and bass shuffle that is sticky and glitchy with operatic vocals (mezzo-soprano Francesca Genco) gliding smoothly over the ragged soundscapes: haunting and ethereal. This creates a delightful tension that gets resolved as a bubbling synth bass appears in the undercurrent and other sounds muscle their way through the mix. It’s an immersive eight minutes – transfixing and mesmerising.
‘Asha’ again commences with samples sounds and a whirligig thrum before crystalline delayed guitars cut their way through the mix. The track strides forward with an insistent drive and a middle eastern/indian twang to the riffs, over a chugging rhythm section and gurgling synths. It is seven minutes of emotional waves: organic and tangible.
From this ethereal soundscape, ‘Gateway’ takes you into a more synth-based territory with the bubble and effervescence of something by Kraftwerk cantering along mechanically. ‘Straylight’ with its dissonance and impersonal sampled vocals from Amy Gedgaudas recalls bands like Ladytron with heavy metal thunder in the distance and a cold arctic chill running throughout.
‘Floe’ is filled with dark ominous noises: an alien soundscape with wide open spaces and a piano sketching an edge in the distance. It is a slow, reflective piece that counteracts the dense electronica of the pieces before it – straying into a Pink Floyd-wide horizon. This alien soundscape continues in ‘Eidolon’ with its syncopated patterns and foreboding aura as a muscular bass intensifies and a Cabaret Voltaire like vibrancy takes over and a spacey synth arches over the field.
Final track ‘Buchla Space’ has a flamboyant air provided by guest Susanne Stanzeleit on violin which lends a Brechtian tone – a sense of rich indulgence and theatricality with an arpeggiated synth riff in the background. It’s a dynamic vibrant piece that is an epic soundtrack for life with its energising ebbs and flows and almost ska off-beats and soaring vocalisations.
‘At Least A Hundred Fingers’ is a real aural pleasure – a vibrant collection of evocative soundscapes that are melodic and immersive yet refuse to conform to any script or style. Ambient, techno, drum and bass, world music, prog rock and psychedelia: there are echoes of everything to be found within the sonic landscapes created by Twofish but in this album, something powerful and unique has been created.
‘At Least A Hundred Fingers’ can be downloaded/streamed here or bought directly through the link below.
All tracks written, performed and produced by Twofish, who are:
Harry Richardson: Keyboards, Guitars, Bass
Charlie Humble: Keyboards, Didgeridoo
This is a fantastic find and one of the best electronic albums I’ve heard in years. Thank you!