Psychic TV – “Kondole/Dead Cat” 2CD/DVD Album Review

PSYCHIC TV Kondole Dead Cat - 1400px for web“I think what people call “weird” comes part and parcel with people who are brilliant in some way. So embrace your weird. Embrace your eccentricity.” 
― Eileen Anglin

Psychic TV is a band that needs no introduction.  It goes without saying that they have continuously defied classification, norms and style.  Thus, reviews of legendary artists like Psychic TV & Genesis P. Orridge are often challenging because you question whether the words will do them justice.   

Kondole/Dead Cat is the latest album to be released by Cold Spring Records.

CD1 includes the 48 minute long version of “Dead Cat.” This is a very abstract piece that starts off with a repeated sound similar to a helicopter with a broken blade.  One thing that is noticeable right away is the quality of the mix.  When listened to through headphones or ear buds, we actually feel like this sound is encircling us.  At other moments during the track, sounds come and go from left to right.  A partially creepy, shimmering sound meanders in the backdrop with the sporadic, reverb-laced industrial hit.  The piece gets more complex at moments as it progresses and incorporates noises and sounds that are partially organic (like a didgeridoo) and partially studio-made.  The track becomes enveloping at times with the listener not knowing whether to be intrigued or disturbed.

CD2 contains three lengthy tracks.  The first is, “The Whale” which is the soundtrack to an unmade film called “Kondole,”  This is a pretty intriguing track that feels partially improvisational and partially structured.  Fret-less bass and organ sounds appear right from the start while odd sounds in the background oddly but effectively mimic the sound of outdoor or underwater creatures. 

“Thee Shadow Creatures” follows on disc 2 and starts as a very disturbing but interesting soundscape.  It bears similarities but defies dark ambient/death industrial all in the same breath.  Its predominant sound is like your neighbors playing some tribal drums through your apartment wall while you hear the sound of the outdoors through your sliding-glass door.   “Dead Cat (short version)” closes out the album on disc 2.

From Cold Spring: “The film ‘Dead Cat’ was released in 1989, and shown only at a handful of cinemas that year, including once at the infamous Scala Cinema in London. It was never issued on general release and has only recently been uncovered by David Lewis (writer & director). We present the full film, re-authored from the original source.”

The film “Dead Cat” is without question, one of the strangest and borderline disturbing short films I have seen in quite a while.  I won’t give anything away but it further justifies the price of admission.  I wholeheartedly appreciate its black and white/grainy quality which gives it an old-time cinema feel.

Kondole/Dead Cat certainly isn’t for everyone.  But then I doubt that mastermind Genesis P. Orridge would want that.  In any case, this is a pretty unique and intriguing piece of art.  It is indeed definitely recommended for fans of Psychic TV and those intrigued by the unusual and unorthodox.  

Kondole/Dead Cat will be officially released on January 23.


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