Dais Records (label)
10 July 2019 (released)
On third long-player ‘Modern Mirror’ Deb Demure and Mona D. excavate the subterranean soundscapes of the early to mid-1980s taking in Depeche Mode’s modus-poperendi (‘The Other Side’), the ‘bigger over there than here’ Modern English’s glacial rock (‘Oxytocin) and French ‘cold wave’ group Asylum Party’s ‘lurking in the shadows’ aesthetique (‘Dolls in the dark’).
Like label mates Adult. Drab Majesty blend dark, deep (under)tones with upbeat (over)drones with the resulting effect a dissonant resonance: cracked reality is staring at you straight back.
Visually resembling the statuesque mime artistes that litter the tourist traps of the planet, the ghostly duo create atmospherics amounting to what they term ‘tragic wave’: an apt label for this album that combines Greek tragi-myth (Ovid’s ‘Narcissus’) with futuro-botic beats that creates a ever-modern tale of identity crises and fractured self-reflection via the pill-pop prism of rampant self-medication and toxic tech-sistential breakdowns.
Opener ‘A dialogue’ channels Mark Burgess’s shape-shifting Chameleons as a repetitious mantra (‘Don’t say another …’) is hauntingly intoned backed by sci-fi synths.
The premise of menace pervades Noise of the Void’ which aesthetically reminds of Q Lazzarus’s serial killer anthem ‘Goodbye Horses’ ‘it’s the emptiness … the emptiness’ moan-groans Demure.
The calm-capsule ‘Oxytocin’ (derived from the Greek for ‘quick birth’) is a sonic ‘love as a drug’ lament, a meditative sedative, a tranquilising pharma-coma replete with optimism for a ‘tainted love’. The mathematical aspects of romantic entanglements (fractions and subtractions, minuses and pluses) inform ‘Long Division’, with No Joy frontwoman Jasamine White-Gluz subtly back-cooing the equational advice.
These songs bounce, renounce and pronounce, a gothic freak tragedy oozing with a perception deception. What you see is what you get.