Last year’s Trust compilation introduced us to the work of Rudi Arapahoe, who not only mastered the set, but contributed one of the standout tracks, “Double Bind”. Following the positive reception for that track (as well as another on The Silence Was Warm Vol. 4), the artist has expanded the track to an EP, his first in five years (albeit composed at the same time). From the sound of this EP, it may be time to try a full-length release.
It’s nice to be reminded of the title track, although it was never really far from our minds. We now discover that the cello was contributed by Danny Norbury, which only confirms our initial appreciation of the ethereal piece. According to Arapahoe, his music has shifted in tone toward the “bleak and abstract”, but there’s still something comforting about the soft, wordless female voice, which fits the latter word more closely. How bleak can a song be when sweet singing is part of the equation? The rest of the album possesses a colder edge, as befits the album’s title. When placed in a double bind, every turn becomes dangerous.
“In Praise of Mirrors” implies impending danger through dark drones and echoed harp. In this case, the mirror may be the darker side of the personality. “Gregory’s Game” continues in the same vein, albeit with a slightly more urgent tone. “The Book of Knots” adds percussion and discordant piano lines, offset by viola. This combination makes it the most memorable of the new pieces. “Endgames” slows the EP to a crawl, as if to indicate the dissolution of a strained mind. At first, fans of “Double Bind” (the track) may be caught off guard by these less accessible excursions, but after the initial shock wears off, listeners may find themselves drawn deeper into the intrigue. (Richard Allen)