‘Collabs’ – are they anything more than product placement these days? Well in some worlds driven less by the algorithm, collaboration still has a meaning and a purpose. Step forward the indispensable Thrill Jockey Records and news of an incoming album ‘Orchards of a Futile Heaven’ due 23rd Feb, from the artistic coupling of The Body and Dis Fig.
There’s a synergy here, a partnership with a shared experimental psyche intent on the deeper push, pull and probing of real collaboration. Of course, for seminal doom metal innovators The Body, co-working with other musicians has long been part of the Portland duo’s approach. Alongside releasing their influential records carrying The Body nameplate, Chip King (guitars etc) and Lee Buford (drums etc) have unleashed around fifteen collaborative albums since 2011. Recently these efforts have diverged from the mega-metal, heavy lifting combinations with Thou or Full of Hell to the less expected (check the dynamic folk song explorations with BIG I BRAVE on ‘Leaving None But Small Birds’ or the industrial electronic mayhem of ‘Enemy Of Love’ with OAA).
So what more can be anticipated from The Body/Dis Fig combo on ‘Orchards of a Futile Heaven’? For a start Berlin based producer and DJ Felicia Chen (aka Dis Fig) brings her own scouring interpretation of distortion and noise that first shook attention on her 2019 debut ‘Purge’. Plus as a vocalist who can wilfully cut from screamed aggression to soothing dream tones in an instant (listen to Chen’s ‘In Blue’ album made with The Bug for evidence), there’s likely to be the injection of an intense lyrical personality to this collaborative happening.
First preview from The Body & Dis Fig communion, ‘Holy Lance’, built ominously from an accordion’s bodily groans and Chen’s brooding, dramatic voice to a close of otherworldly chords, gaping with guitar fissures. Now comes a second dip into the album with the tense struggle of ‘Dissent, Shame’. Here Chen’s monastic chant glides over The Body’s erosive drone before the pulsing, arterial throb of a ‘death disco’ finale. Toxic and intoxicating tasters, the offerings promised by ‘Orchards of a Futile Heaven’ feel unsettlingly irresistible.
Pre-order your copy of ‘Orchards of a Futile Heaven‘ from you local record store or direct from Thrill Jockey HERE