To say that it’s interesting and often inspiring is a bit of an understatement: it’s not an easy listen but it’s a hypnotic one and one that you can easily get into the habit of listening to, especially if you need something a bit offbeat to tune into.
Transfer is a collaboration between Andy Moor of the Ex and spoken word poet Anne-James Chaton, one that draws on Chaton’s extraordinary world view and “playful” approach to his art and Moor’s interest in offbeat sound. To say that it’s interesting and often inspiring is a bit of an understatement: it’s not an easy listen but it’s a hypnotic one and one that you can easily get into the habit of listening to, especially if you need something a bit different to tune into.
At times tracks like Sul Volo have this DIY Gothic edge – a bit like a more cerebral take on punk played in a shed, or something from Tom Wait’s Bone Machine. It’s also safe to say that a hell of a lot of forethought lies behind this record, and after a while you start to appreciate the intelligence of what’s on offer. Best of all though, is that Transfer is meticulously put together - but it never overplays its own importance. Rather it’s damned frisky, despite the macabre subject matter. And we get all sorts of strange sounds - including an elephant's trumpetting in D’Ouest En Est and lots of disembodied voices elsewhere. The booklet is also worth looking through if only for the clever arrangement of the texts; in any case, you end up starting at them, trying to decipher further meaning as the record plays.
The tracks are about travel, death and disorientation; we get lists of Metro stations where bad shit has happened, lists of people condemned to death, map references where ships have gone down, tracks about plane crashes and two tremendous pieces about the car crashes of Grace Kelly and Princess Diana. The Diana track (Princess in a Mercedes Class S280) is an increasingly powerful mix of Chaton’s steady, gravelly voice and an impassive female English R-P voice: both monologues slowly start to interweave; floating over this strange gloopy soundtrack, and that gives this incredible feeling of displacement. It’s a very poignant moment; giddy, hazy stuff that feels completely out of space and time. The other track, Princess in a Rover P6 3500S V8, uses Kelly’s voice to float surreally over the clanging, druggy backdrop to the same strange, powerful effect.
Give this time, it will get under your skin. And it’s really not as dark or morbid as you first think.