Secret Secrets ‎– Chiromagica

Ehse Records ‎– Ehse 020
Vinyl, LP


Musical destructionism used to be the domain of acerbic power-electronic musicians and deadpan no-wave trouble makers, but Secret Secrets have shed the nihilism even as they tear it all down. The sparsely combined ideas on the duo's debut album, Chiromagica - a morphing synth thrum, a hard-nosed but fluid drum line, a singular bass note plucked at varying intervals, a sitar-sounding guitar, an Ono-esque stack of repeated vocals - seek relationships other than mere harmony, perpetually building new moments even within repetition, but keeping the listener engaged with a staggered but rolling pulse and tantric energy.

The true mission of the band, featuring Shana Palmer on sampler/pedals/electronics/vocals and Melissa Moore on guitar and drums, is more generative, using contemporary and avant-garde musical tools and processes to generate something meditative yet disorienting, akin to Sufi Dervish whirling. This is not purely an ecstatic rite, though - menacing and churning threads appear as Moore's drumming regularly turns from tribal to martial, Palmer's haunting chants and siren-like croons shift to sinister wails and even sneering screams, and jarring shards of cymbals, fuzzed-out industrial squall, and reality-crushing bass frequencies bubble up from the warm, throbbing drone.