Contrastate ‎– I



I Just Am
Invocation To The Rite Of Birth
The Rite Of Birth
Locked Inside A Dying Horse

Versions (2)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
dmc 17 Contrastate I(Cass, Album) Direction Music dmc 17 UK 1991 Sell This Version
functional 003 Contrastate I(CD, Album, RE) Functional Organisation functional 003 Germany 1993 Sell This Version



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May 17, 2012
referencing I, Cass, Album, dmc 17
Out of all of the cassettes which arrived in the DIRECTION MUSIC package, this was the one I slapped into the machine first. "A Thousand Badgers In Labour" had been the first vinyl review material I recieved and still remains a favorite. So I expected something good.
Side one consists of just one track, called "I Just Am". It's as darkly strange and mysterious as anything from that album, if not more so. The images it creates - of Stygian soundscapes, ever flowing, ever moving, as if towards some dark intent seem almost liquid. How they create this I don't know - do they use instruments? You cannot really tell, but it all floats together like a sluggish Styx. Voices in harmony push up through the music, needing badly to be heard. There is motion in this - movement so slow and graceful, it's almost beautiful.

The second side opens with "Invocation To The Rite Of Birth" - first of two connected pieces - spoken words adding to the dark ritual it's own unique strangeness. After the invocation, the sound changes to something which might thrill & inspire PHILIP GLASS, a shimmering construction with distant percussion like temple bells made of natural, unshapen metal forms. "The Rite Of Birth" is a vocal thing, apparently following on from the first piece - an a capella piece with deep-to-high- pitched voices. It's very, very clever when you realise that it was done by just one person - a Mark J. Hamilton, If you liked the vocal part of "Bohemian Rhapsody", then this is for you. It deserves to be heard & admired, even if you don't like it. I find myself gasping for air, and I only listen to it. The final track is "Locked Inside A Dying Horse" - another atmospheric, black-pall-over-bleached- land track noise moving like a pollution over things, bringing sadness as the cold weather brings frost. It sounds like a storm heard from a shadow-cast warehouse - a strangeness which is so wonderfully, so uniquely CONTRASTATE

Originally reviewed for Soft Watch.