Review: Hardworking Families – Eight Knots Bathing (Chocolate Monk, Feb 12)

If they maintain the schedule that’s been steadily expanding since the turn of the century, the Monk will reach choc.600 by the end of 2023, and be well on the way to 1000 at the decade’s close. The beloved label’s endlessly circulating potpourri of new music is always more buffet than multi-course sitdown, offering up oodles of options for those whose honkers are drawn to the smell of must and spittle (but of course no champion chomper will be left unsatisfied should they devour it all). Some artists’ work is on the whole more at home here—Cody Brant, Bob Desaulniers, and Shareholder are some personal favorites of the usual suspects—but with a CM rag any and all roads seem to lead to the same nexus of oddness. Eight Knots Bathing is Hardworking Families’ first tack on the Chocolate board and also a fresh next step, migrating from the humming micro-electronics of the past few releases to an anything-goes collage approach that revives the raucousness of stuff like BA / LS / BN. It’s more lackadaisical than that one, though, lethargic almost, as stumbling and sluggish as it is spry and spacious. Opening cut “Last Day” is the longest of the titular eight knots and also perhaps the most memorable, dual-functioning as a sampler for the countless textures and locales we’ll visit in the ensuing seven. While loose, the sound-stitching isn’t particularly careless or overtly surreal, nor are any of the recordings themselves processed beyond recognition, and yet there is a sort of dream-logic that prevails over the proceedings, a frail fugue that ends in beautiful, warm quietude with “Firle Harmonics.” Many thanks to Constance/Nyoukis and their confessed “pestering” that made this disc happen—it was worth it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s