Etant Donnes Re-Up

Forgetting the “don’t judge a book” adage, and judging from the cover imagery (a naked woman with all but her face exposed on the front, a nude man strapped to a chair, eyes closed, on the reverse) and lyrical content within, Re-Up appears to be ritual musick for sado-masochistic play. For this release, France’s Etant Donnes brings in Alan Vega, Lydia Lunch and Genesis P. Orridge to provide lyrics and vocals for specific contributions. Vega lends his pipes to the first four songs, juxtaposing his stream of conscious vocals with the phasing pulses and analogue crackles and sighs on “Shadows Light,” responding to the rhythmic ticking and splintering synth on the title cut, helping on a track he originally wrote with former conspirator Martin Rev, to cover Suicide’s “Ghost Rider” with an eerie Elvis Presley vamp, along with the epic “Brutal Piss Rods.” Lydia Lunch follows on “Sexodrone,” a lengthy piece where treated trumpet from Mark Cunningham duels with Lunch’s laboured breaths and icy cold delivery. Former Throbbing Gristle member, and current Thee Majesty head honcho, Genesis P. Orridge brings along a different feel with his steady spoken word work on the three final tracks: the metallic gongs, bells and revolving synth washes of “At Last,” the companion piece, “Angel With Iron Wings” and “Secret Tear.” The latter track also features Bachir Attar, leader of the Master Musicians Of Jajouka, playing the ghaita, an instrument that sounds almost like a thinner, higher pitched saxophone; P. Orridge and Attar conclude the voyage with a vigorous call and response between P. Orridge’s instrument of flesh (his voice, get your mind out the gutter) and Attar’s human-formed one. A perfect soundtrack for sensual explorers and wannabes too. (Les Disques du Soleil et de l’Ac)